Giving is Bliss
Why should you be kind to anyone else? Why shouldn’t you just grab for yourself? I mean look at all the billboards you see… every time you open up a magazine, you see an advertisement telling you, Oh yes, you’ll find fulfillment by getting that new car, that beautiful dress, going on vacation.
And it begins to add up… until you actually get a few of these things… and then find you’re just as bored as ever. Maybe more so. I’ve known a few millionaires in my life.
The more the inflation level keeps going up, the more millionaires you meet.
It doesn’t mean they’re any richer. And you know there are more suicides among millionaires than there among paupers.
Because they’ve got everything that they think they want and they still aren’t happy.
And so why shouldn’t you be kind? Is it wrong to be unselfish, when everything and everyone tells you to be selfish?
No, because, when you’re consciousness expands, you fill more fulfilled… you feel more fulfilled, when you add to your knowledge, when you add to your sympathies; when you can include other people’s happiness in your own.
It isn’t because the Bible says that if you don’t do it, you’ll go to hell.
It’s because your own nature tells you that you feel happier when you give.
That’s why Jesus said, It’s more blessed to give then to receive: blessed means blissful!
I feel more bliss in sharing, whereas the more I grab for myself, the more I seek power for myself, possessions for myself, importance for myself, the more I find that, even though I get all these things, I just don’t feel right.
I said to a friend, the other day “You know what I like best of all is to be unimportant. I love to be unimportant. Most people are wrong most of the time. What does it mean if suddenly they approve of you. It’s got to be bad! It can’t be all that good!”
So let’s try to find ways that we can bring people back to those fundamental values that spring from within us, not from the Bible, not from the Bhagavad Gita: those are only way-showers, they’re guides. They help us to find out who we really are. They help us to find out what we really want in life.
John Paul Sartre, the nihilist, said to be consciousness of another is to be conscious of what one is not. A wise person would say: to be conscious of another is to be conscious of one’s self in another form.
Everybody in this room is specializing on behalf of the whole human race in being himself. Each one of us is unique in a way and yet, each one of us comes from basic reality that we all share.
Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to communicate. We share it because basically, as John Donne said: No man is an island.
The truth of it is, of course, we’re all islands in a sense. But if you take the island down under water, you’ll find it’s the same earth that produces all the islands in the world, all the land masses.
Likewise, we are all expressions of one great consciousness.
– From a talk by Swami Kriyananda from 1994
And here you can find out more about how Giving can transform your life: “The Joy of Giving” – Campaign