Friday, November 28, 2008

Philosophical Musings – Part XIX

Roots of Wisdom

During this coming festive season, giving and receiving gifts are common. Yet, it is easy to lose sight of the purpose of gifts. Often, gifts are given with ulterior motives including flaunting one’s wealth. Is this the right spirit of giving? Let’s listen to what Hong Yingming has to say:

The Right Spirit of Giving

Even with vast sums of Money
It is difficult tie down more than a moment of Joy

Surprisingly, even a single Meal
Will render a person grateful for the rest of his Life

For ultimately, when Love is too ponderous
It creates, paradoxically, Aversion

But when light
It reverses again and engenders Joy


Damien Tan

The Buddha also had this to say about giving and sharing (from the Khuddaka Nikaya I believe):

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without have given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared, if there were someone to receive their gift. But because beings do not know, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they eat without have given. The stain of miserliness overcomes their minds."


Dear Damien,

Thanks for sharing this meaningful sutta. IMHO, it's difficult for one to be generous in these difficult times. Still, small acts of kindness do much to uplift the spirits in these turbulent times.



Everything that exist in the universe actually form a link that binds one with another. Thus, your possession will not diminish even you give or share with others. It still retained within the link and may eventually comes back to you in another form. However in order to practice generosities by giving or sharing,you must first work hard to acquire them.


Dear CYC,

That's a great insight into the nature of things. I'll keep that in mind.




Thanks for the over-rated compliment. I m only good at articulate a point but very much lacking in practice. Economic in Buddhist perspective is relevant and useful in shaping the global economy if we wish to have a harmonious and efficient one. But, its difficult to implement as we first need eradicate defilements in our mind and be contented with our rightful possession.

Anyway, wishing you all the best on your journey of seeking greater insight with wisdom while seeking greater wealth.


Dear CYC,

"lacking in practice..."

You're not the only one. It's always easier to talk the talk than to walk the talk isn't it. Part of the conundrums of life. When the Buddha said that the Mind is the forerunner of all things, he was spot on. Eradicating defilements in the mind is no easy task at all.

Thanks for your well wishes.


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