With a heart full of gratitude and compassion, Mohanji suggests simple but effective ways of gifting to empower us in serving the world.
Letter of Gratitude for Giving Gifts
I am saying this with full gratitude and in appreciation of your love and kindness towards me and other family members who live with me. I fully appreciate, I fully understand your feeling, and I’m filled with gratitude because you’re finding the time and spending money, and energy, to send the gift items which you love to give me and the people here in the house.
But we have to be practical in this context. If you have some money with you to spare, make sure that a few beings around you, who are hungry are given good food, and satisfy them. This is a gift you’re giving me.
I would like you to use your extra money or excess money to feed the poor, the old, the sick, the birds and the animals, beings of the water, beings of the sky, and beings of the Earth. This is what I would like you to do, or like to do myself, and I do it. If you send materials from different countries, there is a cost for transportation, there is a cost related to the government, like customs fees and stuff. Eventually, that item becomes much more expensive than when we buy from the shop. Again, I’m telling you, I’m deeply grateful that you thought about me or the people in the family. And you really spent that money, time, and energy to procure it and send it.
But when we consider the total cost, and the total damage to our wallets, is it worth it? Many of the materials are usable probably for a few times, a few weeks or maximum, a few months and it’s discarded. But medicines and essential items, that’s a different thing because that’s needed for our existence. All the essentials are welcome as they help in sustenance. That’s a different criterion.
I’m talking about general gifts that we don’t really need.
We need a few dress materials, materials which we need for dealing with the world outside; that’s about it. We don’t need a lot of it. Again, I appreciate your love and kindness. I fully feel it. It is not the same as walking into a shop and, “Oh, I like the dress!” You go buy it. Because a desire happened, you fulfill that desire, that’s okay. But it’s not the same when you buy and send it long distance by courier. Courier charges to customs or the government charges, V.A.T.; all those put together, it really becomes expensive. Probably, it’s not so essential. So, I would like us to consider all these things before we decide to buy and send something. Rather, I would like you to spend that money in helping the helpless.
Help Our Neighbours
In today’s situation, so many people have lost their jobs. There is zero income.
- 5000 people lost their jobs in Dubai
- about 40 million in the USA
- 22000 in Serbia
- 500000 in UAE
- 27m young adults (20-30-year-olds) in India
All of them have loans and living expenses. As there is no income, many people are in crisis. Many companies have sacked people. They removed people; that means, so many jobless people. And many of these people don’t tell the world because they are not very poor in their normal life, but a situation like COVID19 has happened, and they became jobless.
I know certain cases where the people ask the grocer, “Can you give a one-time meal? Or the materials to cook a meal for the day, for the family.”
They were usually paying and buying before but in this particular situation, they don’t have that food. So, we have to be really considerate. We have to keep our eyes open. We have to ensure that our neighbourhood people are fine. So many shops are closed and so many businesses are suffering.
One of my friends was telling me, he’s doing good business with about 100 people working for him. He was telling me that his net loss per month is about 4 million rupees. This is the state; this is the reality. Many people are losing money because the economy is tilted. So, we must really understand that every meal is precious in the world today.
If you have food to eat, it’s sheer grace.
You deserved it. You lived for the world, the world lives for you; the world provides. But we must always think about the people who do not have food to eat. If you buy some extra grocery and supply to neighbours who have lost their job, they would greatly appreciate it.
I would rather you would spend money on that than sending gifts to me. It would be more practical.
We have got to be very practical today. I don’t like to see children starving in the neighborhood because the parents lost their jobs. We can do something, let’s do it.
We are focusing on those people who do not want to come out into the open and tell, “Look here, we need help.” Their ego will not allow it. Therefore, announce public events, say, “Those who lost their jobs, don’t hesitate to come. We can deliver food at the door, get a grocery bag, or something.”
A true story
I heard one person was standing outside the grocery shop and one woman understood that this man didn’t have money. He was reluctant to go in and ask as he had lost his job and he had a family at home.
So this lady said, “Can I share something with you?”
He said, “No, no, no, no, I’m okay.”
She said, “No, I think you need help.” She felt it.
And he admitted, “I’m standing outside because I may see some of my friends, somebody whom I can talk to.”
She was a stranger, but he said, “I was waiting for somebody from whom I can borrow some money or borrow some material.”
She said, “No, don’t worry. You come with me.”
Then he said, “Basically, I want food for the baby.” It was a child, two years old or something. He wanted to buy baby food. So she bought it for him.
He then said, “You know what? I would like you to take money. When I get a job, I want to pay you.”
She said, “Don’t worry, if you get a job and you get money, you help somebody like yourself now, you know, please make it a chain, that you help others.”
See, these are the things which are very touching. I would like to see such acts of kindness because there are poor people, and they probably have enough ego not to ask anybody that they need food, or even bread, especially for their children. I feel very sad when there is nothing to eat. And I know some cases where they went to the grocery and said, “Can you give one day’s food?”
Some people were working, they were buying from the grocery all the time, but they said, “We lost the last job. “Can you give one day’s food?” It shows that level, just to survive that day. If they have resources, don’t give it but we should know clearly. If anybody who has some extra money, buys just a packet of grocery and delivers it to somebody whom we know very well and has lost the job, that would be a great service. I know we can.
Spaces for everyone – Centers of Peace/Ashrams
Now, if you have excess money and if you really want to give it to the Mohanji community, either to me or the family or anybody in the community, you can deposit it in the bank in your country in the Foundation account. Or give that money over for the Ashram funds. We need money for the Ashram which we intend to build in Slovenia now. We are making plans for it. That’s more practical than sending gifts to me.
Again, I’m telling you, I’m not ungrateful, I really appreciate that you are loving me so much. And I’m indebted to you for your love. But let us use this money for more practical purposes. If the Centre of Peace/Ashram is built, it will support and it will be a source of solace for many people in the years to come. This is more practical. This is more required. So let us work towards something good, something positive, something more practical and more important at this point.
One World, One Family
I will leave you with this thought. And please understand that we are all one. We are one family. We have no separation. When your heart wells with love for me, I receive it. When you love me, I feel it; I receive it. And this love is what is uniting us. This love unites us. This love maintains us; this is our nourishment. And if you can maintain this love, we will have no sorrows.
We are all here together at this point in time and in times to come. We are together; we would like to help each other. Let’s hold hands and stay together. We do not believe in any manmade barriers. We have no caste, country, culture, color; no religion, no language barriers. We are all one. So, the overwhelming love that you express in your society will tell society the flavor of Mohanji Family.
I love you. Lots of love.
Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt
Inputs by Biljana Vozarevic
Proof read by Rekha Murali