Faith

Rare generosity

The Sastras tell us that we must be generous in giving to others. We may think it is easy for a rich man to give away, because he has so much of everything. But giving is never easy, because we all have a great desire to possess things and cannot bring ourselves to part so easily with anything in our possession, said K. Sambandan, in a discourse. If at all we give something to someone, it is probably something we can’t use. Or it may be something that is not valuable. But there have been people, who have given away invaluable things in their possession, exhibiting a rare generosity.

King Athiyaman, who ruled in Tagadur, present day Dharmapuri, in Tamil Nadu, was a person with this rare quality of giving away a valuable thing. The King had been presented with a gooseberry. This was not an ordinary gooseberry. It would confer longevity on the person who ate it. The King could have eaten it himself, for then he would have had a long span of life on this earth. Or he could have given it to someone in his family. But he gave it to the Tamil poet Avvaiyar. The King wanted the poet to have a long life, for her longevity would mean she could come up with more literary works in Tamil. King Pegan saw a peacock shivering in the rain, and he offered his shawl to the bird. There was another king called Paari, whose generosity is also legendary. One day, while he was on his royal chariot, he saw a jasmine creeper lying in his path. He immediately offered his royal chariot as a support for the jasmine creeper. So here we have an example of a King, whose generosity extended even to plants!


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 3:40:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/rare-generosity/article6605409.ece

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