Thursday, May 24, 2007
Compassion and Wisdom

A friend’s son rang me up the other day. He was very upset as he had been cheated by someone pretending to be in trouble. I too have been cheated several times like this. More than monetary loss what troubled the boy was his own foolishness to believe the swindler. But I felt he had not been foolish as he had given away an amount that would have helped the person if he was really needy but it did not prick his own pocket much.

The incident really left me thinking over it for some time. We face such situations frequently where we are not sure whether we should donate money or not. Once in my life I had decided not to donate to anyone unless and until I was very sure of the right cause. Though I was not ever cheated, the guilt of walking away without helping someone would be heavier on my heart than the joy of “hey, you can’t fool me!”. I suppose this is the very sentiment which is exploited by the crooks.

But as a Sikh we have to be compassionate. Guru Nanak says compassion (daya) gives birth to Dharma.

DOlu Drmu dieAw kw pUqu ] (3-13, jpu, mÚ 1)

The mythical bull is Dharma, the son of compassion;

sMqoKu Qwip riKAw ijin sUiq ] (3-13, jpu, mÚ 1)

this is what patiently holds the earth in its place.

As in Asa di Var Guru Nanak tells us:-

scu qw pru jwxIAY jw isK scI lyie ] (468-11, Awsw, mÚ 1)

One knows the Truth only when he receives true instruction.

dieAw jwxY jIA kI ikCu puMnu dwnu kryie ] (468-11, Awsw, mÚ 1)

Showing mercy to other beings, he makes donations to charities.

But its no wisdom to give away to thugs (unfortunately you find them even in gurudwaras these days). That very money (however small amount) could have been utilized for some one who is really needy. A large amount of donations is also the cause of corruption

AklI swihbu syvIAY AklI pweIAY mwnu ] (1245-5, swrMg, mÚ 1)

Wisdom leads us to serve our Lord and Master; through wisdom, honour is obtained.

AklI piV@ kY buJIAY AklI kIcY dwnu ] (1245-5, swrMg, mÚ 1)

Wisdom does not come by reading textbooks; wisdom inspires us to give in charity.

Normally we are able to decide whether the cause is genuine or not. But some times we are puzzled and decision may be really difficult!

What I do in such a situation is to give something that won't hurt my pocket and would be of some help to the person concerned. After that I forget about it completely...

Anyone with better idea?


posted by upinder kaur at 5/24/2007 01:09:00 PM | Permalink |


  • At 28 May 2007 at 12:22 PM, Blogger Puneet Kaur

    "...the guilt of walking away without helping someone would be heavier on my heart than the joy of “hey, you can’t fool me!” i agree with you here Auntyji...

    Its alarming to see countless people begging on streets,markets & even in Gurudwaras...

    This Shabad beautifully explains the countless questions in my mind... makes me smile & realize there's no bigger beggar than me!!

    "Ik Daata Sabh Jagat Bhikaariyaa...
    Har Jaache Sabh Mang Mangnaa..."

  • At 28 May 2007 at 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    “…I suppose this is the very sentiment which is exploited by the crooks. “

    Aunty Ji , you have hit the nail right on its head when you said that thing.
    I would like to quote one quote
    “Deeds are stronger than Words”
    If I am swindler, however much I recite eloquently “WAHEGURU WAHEGURU” , I remain a swindler in the court of
    There were however two more motivating measures , that made me smile at myself for a job well done after , possibly, getting swindled
    1. KABIR says “Guru Gobind Dou Khade Kake Lagoon Paye , Balihari Gur Aapne Gobind Dio Bataye” . Now I couldn’t betray what I have been taught
    2. I gave something that WAHEGURU JI gives me and everybody else bountifully . So no issues.

    Yes , I was perturbed that very moment , cause however small that amount was, still I am a human [ with a small ego, if I am honest, that says I cant be swindled or duped ] but then again, I learnt the soothing power a good Teacher has when I talked to you . My egoism gave way to a dormant energy that was possibly, within me. This energy is paving the way for me to help people and never feel betrayed! Someday before this energy fizzles out , I will talk to you again to rejuvenate it !

    Again , I think I would be honored even if I have a miniscule percentage of what BHAI KANAHIYA JI had !
    Thanks !

  • At 29 May 2007 at 2:48 PM, Blogger upinder kaur

    I am so happy you got my point.That day over phone I was not very sure whether I have been able to convince you or not.
    Lots of love...

  • At 3 June 2007 at 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    keep convincing me the way you do, and i will keep following you.....