October 17, 1967 — Sawan Ashram (Morning Talks, chapter 2)
I told you yesterday, that by giving away something in charity, for which you do not require any return, selfless, that becomes fruitful. You simply give to those who are really needy, poor, naked, who have nobody to support them, the orphans, the widows, and others who would be too shy to beg, and who sometimes commit suicide for want of livelihood. Suchlike people should be helped. The usual way is to give to particular places where the money is just collected in thousands and millions. But that money is of no use to anybody, it is simply collected. Although the money is there, why should we contribute? Let our money be shared with those who are really needy, naked, with nobody to support them. Suchlike people feel shy to go and beg. However, they do come to some spiritual man. So it is better to give to Him so that He may distribute to the right persons.
To give money in charity is just like amassing money for your own self. The tenth Guru says, “I rejoice when I give something into the mouths of others. Those mouths are my mouth. Their bellies are my belly. Suchlike service only I cherish, all others not“.
If millions of dollars are given at one place, the result is that where there is so much money, there is always a clash. When they want to share trouble arises. Then there are those who live only on charity given by other people, who have earned their money honestly. What is the result? People who live only on the charity of others without good reason, that money, earned honestly by others, becomes just like poison to them, poison covered with sugar. So this will have the same effect on suchlike men. They must put in much more time for their meditations, otherwise they will have to suffer. Suppose somebody gives you a glass of water or a glass of milk. He has some reason behind it, he wants some compensation for it. You may have no money in your bank but that will still be debited against you. It is always better to earn one’s own livelihood honestly, by dint of the hard sweat of your brow and to share with others. Not for return, but to share, thinking that we are all brothers and sisters in God. All souls are the children of God. God resides in every heart. With that viewpoint you should share with others who are really needy. To give our money just to established places where there are millions already, what good does that do? Charity really bears fruit if shared with others, who are needy, naked and poor. So all Masters say this and such is the viewpoint of really spiritual people.
Our custom is just to contribute, but we don’t see how the money is spent. If the money has been spent just for the upkeep of one or two men, for a single man, well he has to pay for it. God does not spare him. Just live on your own earnings and share with others. Such people only can progress in the spiritual way. That gives self expanse. At the time of giving you feel a little joy within. This is natural and is the main compensation that you have, there and then. So generally, all men should share with others, who are needy, naked, poor, supportless orphans and widows, and others who have nobody to look after them. Or in some noble purpose to enable them to sit together and find the way back to God. So suchlike charity is advocated by all saints. First we should earn our livelihood honestly, then share with others, maybe the least.
Yesterday I was telling you that one tenth was generally prescribed by the old wise men from the time history began, and also from the time of Abraham. If it is not possible to give one tenth, then give one twentieth, one thirtieth, one fortieth, maybe a single pence, but it should have that angle of vision to share with others. A man who earns say, one dollar a month, and who gives one tenth, well that is worth more than a man who earns thousands of dollars and who gives only five dollars. The Masters never object to see even one pence. They never reject and for that a regular account is kept and that is audited. The Master lives on His own earnings.
Some people make it a business. That’s a good way of earning money I tell you! Hundreds and thousands you can have without any labor. But one who does that has to bear the reaction of what he has done and then he will cry. So the general rule is to earn your own livelihood honestly, in which nobody’s blood is squeezed, in which undue things have not been usurped by you. God sees what you are doing. The other rule is that your earnings should be to maintain yourselves, and share with others.
For example, if you are rowing in a boat and there is a hole in the boat through which the water is coming in and filling the boat, what do you do? You throw out the water with your hands, otherwise you will drown. If you have got more money than you really require for your own maintenance, then just share with others, otherwise you will be doomed. So by giving away, you don’t lose. At the end of the year, you will see that the money has been saved in some other way, by freedom from sickness or any other troubles that arise generally and which involve expenditure.
Our Master used to say, “All right, you give away one tenth and at the end of the year just count. The very money that you have given has been saved where you had no sickness.” You have understood? Earn your livelihood in an honest way, first of all. That is why I don’t accept anything given by those who are not initiated, because who knows how they have earned the money! Even if the initiates earn by dishonest means, that also carries effect. But anyway, there is the Master Power overhead to account for it. The first thing is that you must earn your money by honest means, then share as much as you can, for the good of others. That will expand your self. Just start with the minimum, then give more and more until you give your own self too. Baba Sawan Singh used to give one tenth, but after would send all His earnings to His Master, who would then return something for the livelihood of Baba Sawan Singh’s family. This is the ultimate. We have to give away our body, our intellect, our soul, our everything. The more you are divested of all these things the more you are free, you are nearer to God.
There are instances to show in the lives of saints. Christ said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven“. He further said, “All right, give everything to the poor and then come to me.” So we have to give slowly, bit by bit, until we give everything to God.
The Masters give teachings in all phases of life. First live an ethical life, share with others and then devote time by contacting your soul with the all pervading power within you, and also be of use to others. A man is only called a man who is of use to others. Even animals are of use to their children. If you also act like them, then what is the difference between man and an animal? These things are to be noted and acted upon. You will find a change.
On the first day of the month, according to the East, people ask what is ahead of them in the coming month. So Masters say that the people should turn to the right way. The special message for this month is, “What you have sown, you must unearth,” or “As you sow, so shall you reap.” If any trouble has arisen, that is a reaction of the past. Now set your way right. What you are suffering is the result of your own actions. You must change your line of action and remember God. This is the Teaching. Masters are never attached to any formalities, what month is starting or what month is ending. They say contact your soul with God or keep the sweet remembrance of God, and also look to your means, how you are earning. Whatever you are suffering is a reaction of the past. They say, “All right, what you have done, you have to suffer for, but for the future you must change your way of life.” So this is the way in which the Teachings are given, in whatever way the people like most. So what is given for this month is that which you have sown, you are reaping. If you want to have better prospects, then sow the other way. Those who give, they receive. Those who do not give, how can they receive? If it is given to Nature, then Nature returns in some other form that’s all. The other thing is, start from today and just remember God. The month in which you do this will sow seeds of prosperity for you. People are stuck to the outer formalities only. They do not follow what the Teaching or Message is given about, which concerns the purpose of maintaining life and future prosperity, physically and spiritually.