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Titlul
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The Benefits of Charity, Part 1 of 3

2024-01-15
Lecture Language:English
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“Charity was unknown to her.” “During her lifetime, never ever did she give anything at all. Not even her cleaning mop. When it’s worn out, she would repair it or keep it somewhere, in case, and never give it to anybody. Now, there is a god called Lord Vishnu.” You know Vishnu? Second World god. Perhaps. “And he watched with interest the life and action of this famous old lady. He found that she was to die soon after New Year.” […]

Hey there. More people and colder every day. Funny. I thought you’re going; there must be less and less people every day. How come more and more people every day? Cannot believe it. What’s wrong? Where do you come from? You’re not going? You did not go yesterday? (Some.) Some? (Some of them left.) (Some.) Only some. Not too many, right? (No.) I feel like I owe you something every day. It’s like I owe them something. Are you OK? (Yes.) Cold? (No.) Not cold? Yes or no? (Yes.) (No.) (A little bit.) Not cold. (Yes.) I hear “yes” and “no.” So make up your mind, yes or no? (Maybe a little bit.) Maybe... The men say “no,” the women say “maybe.” Oh, gosh! It’s really cold. Right? Today I have to say “yes.” It’s cold.

Oh! When is the last day that you stay here? (Tomorrow.) Tomorrow is the last day? (Yes. No.) No. No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m so lucky. There will be some “yes” and some “no,” some “maybe.” How many people leave tomorrow? You see? You see? You see? Not all! You see that? Only 50%! Fifty-fifty! How many people leave after tomorrow? How many people don’t leave at all? Never want to leave. OK, OK. I cannot win. Oh, that’s the trouble with the disciples. OK. Never mind. I think I just read you a story and that’s finished. The job of the day.

Actually, all these stories you can read by yourselves. No? Have you heard this story before? (No.) TO-KA-TA-KA-SA-GA Charcha-RA-KA-SA-RA... Did you? (No.) No? (No.) So many stories, I don’t know what story to read to you. All stories are good from India, on devotion to God. A story about devotion is always good. Meanwhile, you can look at me. You complain that you don’t look at me enough, so look. Just look, right? OK, it doesn’t matter. I think I’ll read this one. There are many similar stories anyhow. If you don’t understand English, you should find somebody who understands English next to you, and who translates it for you, OK? Understand? (Understand.) Find an English [speaking] person to “blah blah” into your ears. Not into my ears. Then I don’t know whether he says it wrong or right, and I will not lose my inspiration. OK.

This is the story of how good it is to be charitable. The benefits of charity. You know what charity is, right? (Yes.) Right. Charity means every day you cook something and then offer to yourself. Because God is within you. So if you offer to God, means you offer to yourself. OK? Is that right? (Yes.) Now, “At the foot of the Gandhamadana Paraiya Mountain…” Indian, you know where everything is a-da-da-da... na-na-na. Just like Japanese, everything is okano-kano-kano-koko. Now, “At the foot of the Gandhamadana Chamanaka Mountain…” I read wrong every time, different mountain every time. The same mountain, OK? Same like the first time. “…there lived an old woman.” You know what an old woman is? (Yes.) Yeah? If you don’t know, look at me. OK.

“She loved seclusion.” Ahh! Must be a very great practitioner, no? Seclusion, you know what seclusion is? No, you don’t. Now you’re living in seclusion. For example, you came from America, Korea, come here to stay here with yourself. And you don’t go out shopping, or find boyfriends, girlfriends, things like that, and you don’t talk to outside people. You stay here in this environment, far away from everybody. And you meditate every day. And you seclude your mind within yourself in order to find your power, your greatness, your peace. That is seclusion. So, I don’t know what kind of seclusion this is. Let’s see. Normally seclusion means like that. But not the prisoner who is locked up within his cell. Anyhow, seclusion.

This woman, she loved seclusion. Most people when they love seclusion, it means they want to be one with God. They want to be alone so that they can think of God, they can meditate on God, they can remember God, they can love God, they can see God, they can hear God, they can talk to God, they can listen to God, they can eat with God, sleep with God, walk with God, sit with God, etc... da-da-da-da! OK. Now, that is the true seclusion.

But she was… this woman is not this case. “She was the worst of all the misers in the country.” It means she’s very stingy. Miser, right? (Miser.) Miser. Oh, sorry, sorry, only one “S” here. Misers in the country. Oh, she’s a mice – oh no, a mouse. A mouse never gives anything to anybody. Perhaps that’s where the word “miser” comes from, right? Only one “S” here. If two more s’s, then it would be better. It becomes “misses.” Like me. Now, “She was the worst miser in the country.” In India, of course, not in America. Maybe there are worse than that in America, I don’t know. Don’t tell them. Maybe – I only say maybe. Maybe. In case I offend your national pride. “She lived alone in seclusion, just because she didn’t like to share her possessions, her food with other people.” I was thinking, I was having an illusion; I thought she was living there alone because she wanted to think of God and meditate like you! Like you, the saints in Miaoli. But no.

“Charity was unknown to her.” She knows nothing about charity. She did not part with even one grain of rice for the Cambodian people. (No!) “During her lifetime, never ever did she give anything at all. Not even her cleaning mop. When it’s worn out, she would repair it or keep it somewhere, in case, and never give it to anybody. Now, there is a god called Lord Vishnu.” You know Vishnu? Second World god. Perhaps. “And he watched with interest the life and action of this famous old lady. He found that she was to die soon after New Year.” After she eats the first rice cake, she’s probably going to choke to death. Actually, there are many Japanese old people who choke on rice cakes during the New Year’s festival. Make sure you don’t eat too many rice cakes. OK? You know, the sticky rice cake? (Yes.) I don’t know how they can choke on it, but actually, somebody did. Maybe this lady would choke on rice cake – sticky rice cakes on New Year’s – and then she’ll die soon.

“And Lord Vishnu saw that she had only three more days of her life on Earth.” Ahh, how “good,” so that people could share some of her possessions after she is gone. “Lord Vishnu, therefore, called Kakabhushundi Ananda Maharajah to His side and said to him, ‘My very dear beloved Bhushundi Ananda Maharajah, look at this old lady, she has not done even a little of charity during her life. She has been miserly all throughout her entire existence. You go and try to snatch something from her at least today because tomorrow she has to die. When she dies, she will have some merit to her credit in that case, if you’ve stolen something from her.’” At least some (vegan) chocolate or something. Or maybe popcorn. “Kakabhushundi Ananda Maharajah nodded, ‘OK.’” In the modern language, “OK.” I begin to get hot because I have a heater hidden here. Not that I have magical power.

“And he took the form of a crow and sat on a tree near the house of Kanjani.” Kanjani is the old woman’s name. “It was the time when she was washing a handful of black gram, soaked in water for cooking her food. Now Bhushundi decided to snatch away a beak full of it.” Gram, right? What is that? I don’t even know what that is. Maybe rice. Maybe. OK, let’s change it into rice to make it more easy. “OK, now, he wanted to snatch a beak full of rice from the old lady, the stingy old lady. And suddenly in one leap, he flew near the vessel and took a beak full, a mouthful of grain with lightning speed. Chomp!

But the alert, old woman grabbed him with a greater speed still,” grabbed him by the neck like this. “She wrung his neck.” Ugh yuck! “And kept it twisted, so that the grain did not slip down to his stomach.” (Oh, wow.) Yuck! I didn’t read this story before. I’m sorry to pick it on New Year’s for you. Make sure you don’t do the same thing to the poor bird[-people]. Keep your precepts, OK? My goodness! “Meanwhile, with her other hand, she parted the beak,” the beak of the bird, “and squeezed out, took out to the last grain from the throat of the struggling crow.” (Aww.) Aww. Really, she deserves an award from us: “The most miserly woman in the world in history”!

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