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Chapter 10: When You Give of Yourself

India has almost one thousand universities. I have seen many. His university is small; it is a small place. But his university is the most beautiful - on a hilltop surrounded by great trees, and below it such a big lake full of lotus flowers. The lake is so big that you cannot see the other shore. And I came to know that he had given everything to the university. Nobody was asking, nobody was even expecting that in that small place there would be a great university.

He was a world-known legal expert. He had offices in London, in New Delhi, in Peking; he was continuously on the move.

I had asked him, “Why have you chosen this place?”

He said, “I have gone all over the world and I have never seen such a beautiful small hill, with big trees, with such a beautiful lake, with so many lotuses.”

The whole lake was covered with flowers and lotus leaves. In the early morning, on all the lotus petals. Dewdrops gathered in the night; in the morning you could see that lake was the richest in the world because each dewdrop shone like a diamond.

He had taken me around the place and he said, “It is not a question of my town, it is a question of the beauty of this place.”

But I had never imagined that he would be sending me two hundred rupees per month, unsigned. So I could not even send him a thank you note.

It is well to give when asked, it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.

What can we give? Everything is mundane.

Almustafa is right when he says that the true giver is not concerned to attain some joy by giving. His joy is in searching for someone to whom he can give who is receptive, who is open, who will not feel offended.

And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give you now.

Death will take everything away. Hence, never be worried about giving. Life has given to you, life will take it away. Why miss the chance of the joy of giving? Why miss the chance of becoming the hands of God, and the eyes of God?

.that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors.’

People collect for their inheritors. This is wrong for two reasons: one, you miss the chance of giving; secondly, whoever is going to inherit your money will miss the chance of earning it himself. You have destroyed two persons - yourself and your children.