‘Charity is my deal with those in need and it requires no agent in between.’

So with the light of Sathya Sai Baba’s death, we hear from the media how nice and charitable he has been. How he gave to the needy. How he gave to the poor. How he raised money for hospitals. Well, it is good for Sathya Sai Baba as he is named as the one who did all the charity.

People pay two types of taxes. One that is actual tax to the government and then there is the religious/spiritual tax that people pay to their churches, to their temples, to their Gurus, to their Godmen. You should hear some of the absurd things that they say. Apparently, you must pay 10% of what you earn to them. Now, come on people if you still follow that then you really need to wake up.

I have tried to think about it. I have a Guru and I do give money to him. Now, why do I give money to him? The first line of enquiry must begin with me. Anyone reading this would turn around and say well you have a Guru and I have seen you donate money to him. The first thing is that I have never donated anything to my Guru. I give him whatever I want because he is like a father to me. It is a personal relationship. He has never demanded any money from me or any of his devotees. His Charity Organisation carries out the normal social work that other missionaries do. However, I have never seen my Guru ever put the praise on to Himself. I can say that people praise the Charitable Organisation.

I see the Guru relationship as something personal. What you give to the Guru should be for the Guru only. It is like as if you are giving money to your parents or your children that is how it is for me. It is a personal feeling. My Guru gives me happiness, he has made me a much better person, he has opened my awareness towards certain aspects of my life that I was lacking in. However, it has all been my journey but I know he has never let go of my hand. Remember, you should only really donate something to your Guru if he has created some inner transformation. If you are doing it because other people are doing it, or because you see what his charitable activities are then it is wrong.

Many people give money to charities and why do they? What is the purpose? What do they get from it? I personally never have agreed with charity especially to Gurus/Swamis who claim to be building temples, schools, hospitals etc. They are nothing but crooks. People who give money to such gurus/swamis cannot complain when the Government raises its taxes.

Religion and some Spiritual Institutions have continuously gained money from their followers to give to the needy. Now, I was trying to work out the amount of money these people must have. It is more than billions of dollars, in fact, it could reach trillions of dollars a year. Now, what I want to know if all this is going to these religious and spiritual institutions to get rid of all kinds of poverty then surely there should be no poverty left in the world? I can’t see how it is possible. Poverty should be eradicated in a decade maximum. So what have these organisations been doing?

The question could be blamed on the devotees and their lack of common sense. But if you are a devotee and you have donated money then stand up and speak up. If your religious or spiritual institution has built a school or a hospital, raise your voice and say that is your money. I am telling you these Gurus/Swamis will get all the praise and you will be there in the background with a few quid missing in your bank account. What have you gained from it?

You see people say they don’t donate charity for pride or for happiness. They do it because they generally care. So when you probe further and ask them couldn’t they save the money on the side and then build a hospital or a school? They would be like we do not have the resources. Really what they mean is that they cannot be bothered. Truly they don’t really give a damn. So why do they carry on giving money to charity? Then they will say it makes us feel better, it makes us feel closer to doing God’s work (God (the Universe) has never ever uttered a word about charity because really everyone is spongeing (taking) from this source!). They will say that they will be granted salvation, or a place in heaven or even a couple of virgins. Now, come on so really your charity is based on one or few conditions. It is based on expectations. You are not giving it because you care. You are being selfish while giving to others and you are pretending to be selfless. Either admit you are selfish but don’t ever claim to be selfless. You are doing it because you want a higher place in the spiritual organisation. You want to be praised. You want to be recognised by that little society. Your thinking is so narrow-minded that anybody with a broad mind can never be comprehended by yourself. What I say now will definitely fall upon blind eyes because I am telling you that you can see but you are failing to open your own eyes. The fact is that your charity is not charity. It is a compromise. A deal with the divine. No offense to you but I find it sick.

Think about all the money you have given to a religious or spiritual organisation in the name of ‘charity or donations’. Just count it all up. Now, what if you took all that money and actually went to every poor person and distributed that wealth as much as you could? Now, you are helping people directly without an outside agency. You don’t need anybody in between. You could set up a sunday school for people and offer to pay the tutor with the money. You could pay for a poor family to educated their children for the rest of their lives. You could pay for someone’s medications for a year. The less people that you truly help, the more quality that charity will have. If everyone who has money to give to charity, donated it to one poor family then are you telling me that those people will remain in poverty?

However, the mind is such a greedy thing. When you see you are helping that person, once they are saving it and buying more grander things then you will complain. You will be saying you are wasting MY money. It is not your money if you have given it to another. There we go, you are selfish about it. It is always going to be your money. Your attachment is alive. Your pride is there. Your ego is still there. What has happened that before the act of charity pleased the ego into hibernation for a while. Then, when it sees other people succeeding due to your money then you are back from your deep sleep. Infact, your charity has become not your living dream but your awakened nightmare.

So take a deep look into why you give charity. I decided today that I am going to set up my own charity and guess what? Only I am allowed to donate to it. Sorry, but I don’t want your money to offer charity to others. I guess I will not get as much praise as the Gurus and Swamis but I know my charity was about quality and not quantity. So yes, you can give your charity for your place in heaven after death. I am in heaven because I will see to my charity directly.

Rahul N Singh