THIS MESSAGE IS DEDICATED TO
ASHA means RIGHTEOUSNESS,
USHTA means DIVINE BLISS
It's in LIVING through GIVING
© 2003 Meher Amalsad, Author of Bread For the Head
Sometime back, I was invited
on a Radio Talk show to promote my book Bread For
the Head and the host asked me:
Life becomes worth living, when it is geared towards giving, is a tenet that has always been cherished and honored by my family.
Growing up in a Zarathushti family, I was indoctrinated by my Grandparents with the following enriching philosophies.
My Grandparents also told me that these time tested attributes of giving and living is what our Zarathushti ancestors were known for.
Let me share with you an insight on giving that my Grandparents left me with.
Interesting enough that even though this story was told to me by my Zarathushti Grandparents, later in life, I discovered that a similar story is also featured in the mystical Qabalah of the Jews.
I have re-created this story to the best of my recollection from over 35 years ago. So sit back, relax and enjoy this ride into a time channel of enlightenment.
Once upon a time, there was this very unique beggar, he was so unique that he believed that people must give, if they want to go to heaven. (Can you imagine a beggar believing that some beggar, isnt it!).
Now, to his surprise, one day, he heard about this very unique town. A town, where giving was considered as a duty. A town where people believed, that if they did not give, they would not to go to heaven.
And the beggar said, Well, thats my kind of town, lets go check it out. And so he decided to visit that town.
Now, this beggar was smart. He told himself, well if I am in a town where everybody gives, then I might as well approach the most affluent person here. With that in mind, he decided to look for the best looking houses. Suddenly, he saw this beautiful red mansion, and he said to himself, Wow, this looks like a good place for a first try. So, he knocked and the owner opened the door.
And this beggar said, Sir, I have come from a different town. I have not eaten any food, and I do not have a place to sleep, can I get some food to eat. The owner graciously invited the beggar to join him for dinner.
After dinner, since it was getting late, the owner asked the beggar to leave. And the beggar said, Well, you seem to have all the riches in the world, why dont you give me some, so that I dont have to worry about money anymore, and you wont have to worry about hell anymore.
The owner got really infuriated and he said, I invite you into my house, and you insult me. I want you to leave immediately. And, so the beggar left.
Since his first experience was unpleasant, the beggar wanted to make sure that he did not knock at any other doors that would culminate similar results. With that in mind, he started browsing through the town.
Suddenly he saw this big white house called, The Holy House. Now the beggar had never seen or heard about The Holy House. With a sense of curiosity, he knocked at the door. After a while, a man with a holy face, opened the door. And the beggar said, Oh! Holy Man, I need your help. I have no place to sleep tonight.
The Holy man said, Come on in, my friend, come on in you are welcome to sleep here tonight.
The beggar told the Holy man that he was new to the town and did not know any body. He said, I thought that in this town giving was a doctrine, but my first experience of receiving was not very appealing." And so, he asked the Holy man for some help in locating places where he could go and beg without getting insulted.
And the Holy man said, My friend, in this town everybody gives, except for one Miser - the one who lives in that big red mansion. You can go to anybody and you will be helped, but somehow the man in the red mansion does not believe that by giving he will be going to heaven.
Now this was Saturday night...
Early next morning, the Holy man took the beggar to a place, where he was given a room to live for as long as he wanted to be there. Now, that same evening the beggar had a mystical experience. Under his front door, someone left an envelope for him with enough money to take care of himself for the rest of the week. The beggar was quite surprised. And even more surprised when the same thing repeated the following week, and the week after, and the week after. And, month after month, year after year, every Sunday evening, this beggar would find an envelope under his door, with sufficient money to take care of himself for the rest of the week.
Now, one Friday evening, the Holy Man was told that The Miser in the red mansion was dying. So being a generous soul, the Holy Man decided to visit the Miser on his death bed.
He went into the Misers bedroom. And he said, My friend, it hurts to see you die without any friends around you. Wouldnt it be nice if you did something great before you die, so that you can at least go to heaven.
And the Miser looked at the Holy man and he said, My friend, what do you suggest?, and the Holy man said, Well, I was told, that, when you give, you make friends, not only in this world but also in the world in which you are getting ready to go. So, why dont you consider giving a little before you die?
The Miser looked straight into the eyes of the Holy man with a smile. Then without speaking a single word, he turned his face to the other side. And the Holy man thought, Well, once a miser, always a miser. And he left.
The next day the Miser died. And the town people went into his mansion, looking for his wealth and his money, but they could not find even a single penny. They could not even find anything to sell for him to have a proper burial. And, so they gave him a misers burial.
The following day was Sunday. That evening, the beggar did not receive any envelope. He got really worried and so he decided to go see the Holy man. When he reached there, he was surprised to see all the beggars in town, waiting outside the Holy mans house. Everybody was worried and saying, Holy man, Holy man, every Sunday night we had money under our door, but tonight there was no money. And, finally after pondering for a while, they realized, that all this time, it was the Miser who was distributing his money to each and every beggar in town.
The Holy man really felt bad about his last conversation with the miser. He realized that the miser one among them was actually the Wiser one among them.
You see my friends, my Grandmother used to tell me, Meher, true giving is such that when you give with your right hand, your left hand does not know about it. God bless her soul. Because my Grandmother did not just talk about this concept, she actually showed me how to walk this concept, by demonstrating it in each and every waking moment of her life.
But, the story doesnt end here. Im now going to call the "Miser" one as the "Wiser" one.
The same night, after all the beggars left in awe, the Holy man had a dream, in which the Wiser visits him. And, the Holy man said, Oh Wiser, Im so glad you came to visit me. I feel really embarrassed about my last conversation with you. And, I also feel bad that no one came to your funeral."
And, the Wiser said, It doesnt matter if nobody came, because millions of angels attended my funeral, and they even held my hands and walked with me to heaven.
The Holy Man smiled and he said, So tell me, how does it feel to be where you are now.
And the Wiser said, The place where I am now, is heaven, it surely looks good, but it doesnt feel good, because Im sad.
With an awe on his face the Holy Man asked, Sad in heaven... Why? When you are now at a place where people think everything is available!"
And the Wiser said, Thats right, but only after we get here, that we get to find out, that even heaven does not have everything.
The Holy man said, What do you mean, even heaven does not have everything?
And the Wiser said, The world over here is so perfect, that I have no opportunity to serve anybody.
You see my friends, for the Wiser, the experience of serving in this world was far more blissful then actually living in the world to come, the so-called heaven.
In other words, we dont have to get into heaven, to achieve the highest possibilities for ourselves. Heaven is in the moment and so is life. And, once we understand this concept, we will realize that each and every moment of our life, gives us an opportunity to be in heaven. All we need to do is to treat others like angels and we will experience the bliss of heaven on earth.
Also, we are told that we give
to serve God; but in giving, we must understand, that God is not a thing.
God is a process. God is a divine being. And we do not give to a thing,
we give to a divine being. So, give until it feels good, not until it
The beauty of giving is not in its duty, but in its purity.
The foundation of giving should not be built on guilt.
In it lies the essence of Z-LIFE
© 2001 - 2021 by Meher Amalsad. All rights reserved.
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