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Philanthropy, An Action For Transcendence

Philanthropy, An Action For Transcendence


A few words on giving from the ‘Gitanjali’ by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore:







If you seek wealth, then help others also do the same. Money, after all, like blood, is the life energy of all social systems and its circulation is a must if we want to continue to keep alive living organisms.

One of the most relevant laws among all laws of nature is the law of flow dynamics. It encompasses Newtonian laws of motion, Ohm’s law of electricity, Adam Smith’s law of demand and supply, and spiritually speaking, karma yoga.

Flow is created due to a number of factors – applied force, pressure, voltage, or the demand for products and services. There is also resistance to the flow due to friction: prices represent one in the flow of goods and services. Maya, Avidya, or ignorance stands in the way of Transcendence.

The prerequisites to becoming philanthropic begin with the cultivation of good Samskara which allows control of the mind thereby avoiding hate, anger, and other negative qualities. Human impulses of sympathy and compassion are intuitive and spontaneous. They are the signs of being humane and Samskaric.

When we make a charitable contribution, we get back a good portion of it in the form of a tax break. People are always shocked when I say that when we donate to a good charitable cause, I use OPEOM…and it is addictive! No need to get shocked, because OPEOM is the short form of “other people’s money” or the taxpayers’ money. Assuming your income falls in the category of top taxes, then you will get back over 50% of the charitable contribution. It is even higher if one adds the savings to the inheritance tax.

Earthly pleasures are short-lived, but charitable acts feel good forever. There is a reason for this.

We are not only connected by having the same spiritual substance called ATMAN, but connected also materially and mentally.

Materially there is a lot more common stuff among us than differences. The material body is thought to be a garment of the psyche and the soul, according to Vedic wisdom. If Adam and Eve were the first couple on this earth, then the generations that followed imply we are all cousins to each other. We had discovered a young girl in Alaska during our travel, resembling our niece from India.

We are connected mentally also in many ways. It is a miracle that we are able to communicate among ourselves with our non-local, non-material minds connected to the brain. Rupert Sheldrake has described convincingly our connectedness through morphic resonance. We must also realize the non-permanent nature of our existence. When I die, materially everything including my possessions stays here on this earth along with my dead body; but my good deeds will stay in minds of most people.

The human species is distinguished through its psychological self. Indian mythology describes the game of life in this way. Brahma, the God of Creation not only created humans but also demons and angels. Demons lack ethics, and compassion, and are totally ruthless. A living being in any form can be a demon, a human, or an angel.

Brahma’s rules of the game were simple. Demons could transform into humans by becoming compassionate. Humans could transform into angels by becoming charitable. The receiver, desperate to receive much-needed help, would believe the giver must be an angel.

And control over desires, implying that the person who has gone through the process of detachment and recognizing the rules of the game has transcended to the highest state of being, which is becoming selfless and full of universal love.

In short, the three attributes, also known as Daya, Dana, and Daman maintain the separation of the three categories of life and shows the path of transcendence towards the highest blissful state of Sat-Chit-Ananda.

In matters of the game of life we are supposed to play, we think of the lord Shiva, the dancing Nataraja playing the game of creation and destruction. Also, think of an edited monologue of William Shakespeare.

All the world’s a stage,
And all men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
in seven ages. The infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms; the whining
schoolboy, with a shining morning face.

And then the lover, then a soldier, full of strange Oaths Jealous in honor, and quick in quarrel; then the justice,                                                        with round belly, and so he plays his part.  The sixth age shifts with spectacles on nose and pouch on side, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound.   Last scene of all, that ends strange eventful history, second childishness and mere oblivion.

Now compare this vision with a Gujarati poem: 

Rakh na ramakda, mara Rame rampta rakhya re,

Mrutyu lok ni mati mathi manav thai ne avya re, rakh na ramakda.

An approximate translation is that we humans, made of earth’s clay, must keep playing the game of life that God wishes us to play.

So the game, is to keep playing, but keep transcending with good karmas, and discover brighter light. The light in every sense is a conduit, to discover God. The sun in the Upanishads is stated as Sutratma. Rays of Sutratma are like a needle piercing all the Jivatmas. Each of us has to realize oneness with the cosmic wind and the sun; if not, the living soul cannot cross the frontiers of death.

Based upon Tibetan Buddhism, when I die, I will face the brightest light, and I am supposed to hold it. If I succeed, I will attain Nirvana. If not, I will face the light with receding brightness. The state of equilibrium depends upon the quality of my karmas. Our endeavors are to keep learning and help others learn to get rid of darkness. Our endeavors should be such that we are able to hold the brightest light after death.

There is a quantum analog of the total human self-constituted of somatic, and several layers of psychic self, existing as a self-centered individual to start with. There is a path to transcend, which includes steps like being compassionate, charitable, and in control of the total self. The ultimate goal of every human being is to transcend to a state of selfless being disconnected from somatic self becoming non-local universal consciousness, just as a sub-atomic particle like an electron can transform from an individual particle to an ever-expanding and unifying wave of light.

The poetry below is another way to describe and discover our

Universal Consciousness, the ultimate Reality.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Om namah shivaya,

Hari Om tat-sat

Satyam Shivam sunderam,

O Supremo cosmos, (hmm…)

O absolute Brahman (hmmm..)

O dancing Natarājan,

In symmetry and splendor

O destroyer of the devil

Creating souls with beauty,

Om namah shivaya

Hari Om tat-sat

Satyam Shivam sunderam

Bholenath Ashutosh Shambhu

Vaishnavanam, yatha Shambhu 

Showing the path for truth,

In the ocean of love and bliss

Atha ataḥ Brahma Jigyāsa

Janma ādi yasa yataḥ

Primeval cause of all causes,

Of creation, sustenance and destruction

Manifested universe for us to play

Hari Om tat-sat,

Oṃ Namaḥ Shivāya,

Satyam Shivam sunderam

O dancing Natarājan,

In symmetry and splendor

Guiding us to transcend,

From Somatic to psychic,

Towards the spiritual self,

No more anger no more hate,

In ocean of love for truth in bliss

Hold on to that state, never let go,

Hold on to, yes hold on, never let go

Om namah shivaya,

Hari Om tat-sat

Satyam Shivam sunderam

Effulgent light of infinite photons

Undivided enlightening for truth

In ocean of love for truth in bliss

Mind in state of Sat-Chit-Ananda

O supreme cosmos,

O absolute Brahman

O dancing Natarājan

In effulgence and bliss

Human mind having no location

Like photons having no position

Searching for absolute truth

Searching for absolute truth

Devoid of anger and hate

Devoid of pain and pleasure

Mind full of love and compassion

Now in light of absolute truth

Enter the field of infinite gravity,

Singularity OR a black hole

Om namah shivaya,

Hari Om tat-sat

Satyum Shivam sunderam

Beyond Nature’s space and time

Out of manifested matters and forms

No more Maya veiling Brahman

No more Maya veiling Brahman

Within the Reality of pure being,

The Reality of supreme consciousness

Aham Bīja pradaḥ pitā

Mayam etam taranti te

Pragyānam Brahma;

Tat twam asi

Ayam Ātma Brahma;

Aham Brahmāsmi

Yes, we are all divine.

O supremo Cosmos,

We are all conscious,

We are one Brahman

Self-conscious Brahman

Hari Om tat-sat,

Om Namaḥ Shivāya,

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

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