Listen to episode 240 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Vedic Wisdom & The Path of Giving. Edited and adapted from a lecture by Swami Vivekananda.
Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The perfect individual can put their whole soul upon one point of love, yet remain unattached. How to accomplish this? Well, first of all, we must recognize that we are all beggars. Whatever we do, we want a return.
We are all traders: we are traders in life; we are traders in virtue; we are traders in religion. Alas! we are also traders in love. If you come to trade, if it is a question of give-and-take, if it is a question of buy-and-sell, you abide by the laws of buying and selling. There is a bad time and there is a good time; there is a rise, and a fall in prices — always you expect the blow to come.
It is like looking at the mirror. Your face is reflected: you make a grimace and there is one in the mirror; if you laugh, the mirror laughs. This is buying and selling, giving and taking. We get caught. How? Not by what we give, but by what we expect. We get misery in return for our love. Not from the fact that we love, but from the fact that we want love in return.
The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the person who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful. Ask for nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you but do not think of that now. It will come back multiplied a thousandfold, but the attention must not be on that.
Cultivate the power to give — give, and there it ends. Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly.