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The Joy of Giving!
|by Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam|
Joy is a much sought after emotion welcomed and cherished by us all. We are joyful when incidents liked by us take place and incidents disliked by us do not take place. And that, persons near and dear to us, and their expression of love and affection, cause joy to us. We feel that joy causing things are outside us in this physical world. This is all a perception of joy.
Spirituality says joy is inherent in us and is our nature; rather we are the form and personification of joy. And joy and cheerfulness are our natural states of mind. Whenever pleasant things happen to us or unpleasant things do not happen, we are joyful, because then we are our Self, released of our ego. But most of the times we expect others or things outside in the physical world to cause joy to us. Thus we are dependent on outside things and persons for joy to be experienced; and are joyless when such things do not happen.
The real joy lies in our giving joy to our near and dear. If we know that what all we are giving our near and dear is actually we are giving ourselves, we will just do that to be joyful.
In Narada Bhakti Sutras this aspect is very well expressed and highlighted. The sutra is; “tat sukha sukhitvam”. “finding our happiness in giving happiness to our near and dear”. This is a spiritual action full of significance. By doing so we are transcending our ego and are absorbing our ego in providing happiness to our near and dear. Thus Gopikas (shepherd damsels) found their happiness in giving happiness to Sri Krishna. They have been very joyful when giving happiness to Sri Krishna and are thus blissful themselves. This secret of getting joy by giving joy to our near and dear must be noted by us all and make ourselves joyful by making our near and dear joyful.
We normally are intolerant of or indifferent to words, actions or thoughts expressed by our loved ones and are egoistic in our dealings with them. We love ourselves most. It is wise to love our loved ones more than we love ourselves. Actually if we love our near and dear, this happens automatically. Only when we do not love, and try making ourselves joyful all by ourselves, we run into problems and cause problems to our loved ones.
The best and shrewd way of being joyful is making our near and dear joyful by our words, thoughts, deeds and cheering and cheerful spirit and finding our joy in such gestures. Many also say that contributing to charity, speaking lovingly and without hurting, being compassionate to all living and non-living beings gives happiness. Ordinary human beings may not have such wider horizon. If we find our joy in making our near and dear joyful the world will be much pleasant place to live. Let us practice giving joy and make it the art of living.
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