THE ART OF GRACEFUL GIVING

Faith column: M.A. Manickavelu on Lord Shanmukha's grace: Asking others for monetary help makes the supplicant uneasy, because when one asks money from another, one must be prepared for rudeness, insults and rejections. That is why Saint Vallalar prayed to....

The Hindu, October 29, 2016

FAITH
THE ART OF GRACEFUL GIVING

Asking others for monetary help makes the supplicant uneasy, because when one asks money from another, one must be prepared for rudeness, insults and rejections. That is why Saint Vallalar prayed to Lord Shanmukha for the quality of not asking anyone for anything, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse.
Petitioning the Lord for moksha and prostrating before Him are desirable, but to fall at the feet of a benefactor is to be shunned. But in case someone does come to one seeking financial aid, then one must readily give him what he needs.
That is why Vallalar also prays that he should never refuse help to anyone.
The poet Avvaiyar ranked acts of generosity in terms of their degree of meritoriousness. If someone asks and we give, that is of slightly lower merit than giving to a person in need even before he asks us. But if a man has to come to us repeatedly for help and then we finally relent and give him something, whatever we give is nothing but wages for his effort, says Avvaiyar.
A banana is easy to eat. All we have to do is peel off the skin. A mango is slightly more difficult to eat. The skin is more difficult to remove than a banana skin. A jackfruit is certainly not easy to eat. We have to remove the tough, prickly skin, and then get to the pulpy part of the fruit.
He who gives without being asked is comparable to the banana, which yields its sweet pulp readily. A man who gives after he has been approached a few times is like the mango.
But he who gives reluctantly, only after he has been asked many times is like the jackfruit, and he ranks low among those who give.

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