The Spirit Of Giving

Dr. Janki Santoke,Speaking Tree, Aug 9th 2015

The Bhagwad Gita describes three types of people in the third chapter. It says that the sattvic eat the remnants of sacrifice, the rajasic who cook for themselves eat only sin (agitation) and the tamasic who take without offering to the gods are indeed thieves. In other words, the sattvic live with the attitude of service and sacrifice and enjoy the unasked fruits thereof; the rajasic work for themselves and suffer stress and strain and the tamasic want without giving anything in return.

The sattvic give without wishing for any fruit, the rajasic give with ulterior motives and the tamasic only take. The tamasic would like to enjoy without offering in return. The rajasic may give away things which are no longer of any use to them but the tamasic will not even do that. People would rather burn organs or bury them but would not like someone to live a better life.

Imagine the ordeal of a person with chronic kidney failure. The kidneys are quietly at our service day and night; they never baulk at work. But if they fail, the patient needs to undergo dialysis. An external machine has to be connected to them and the blood removed and cleaned. This is done twice or thrice a week. The link up takes around four hours on the hospital bed itself, not considering commuting and waiting time. The patient’s life is impaired. He lives on the hope that one day, some day, there will be a kidney donor and he will get a kidney and experience some degree of normalcy. So why not pledge one’s kidneys or other organs to be gifted after death so that they may be transplanted in someone who needs them? What is the value of your organs once you are no more — what are we going to do with them? At least after we have finished using them we can give them away. What degree of selfishness is this that even after death we would not like to give away our organs? It is the least we can do to express our gratitude for having had them in the first place. They made our life beautiful. May they also make someone else’s life beautiful.