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CHARACTER & CHARITY

character-educationarticle-600x400CHARACTER

Character is the aggregate of peculiar qualities which constitute an individuality. lt is any distinctive mark or trait of a person.

Character is power. Character is real property. lt is the noblest of all possessions. Gharacter is perfectly educated will. lt is higher than intelligence.
Every man is the architect of his own character. You sow an action, and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap a character.

Character is not born. lt is formed. The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity is that of a good character.

Character is the produce of self-discipline. The grand aim of man’s creation is the development of a grand character.

The richest bequest which any man can leave to the world is that of a shining, spotless example.
The essential factors in character building are morality, truthfulness, justice, temperance, wisdom, nobility, nonviolence, purity and benevolence.

Nothing in this world-wealth, name, fame, victory is worth a fig or a straw without character. Character must stand behind and back up everything.

Wealth comes and goes. Fame evaporates. Power dwindles. Only one thing endures. That is Character.

Take care of your character. Your reputation will take care of itself. A good character is the fruition of personal exertion. lt is the result of one’s own endeavours. Truthfulness is a corner-stone in character. Not education, but character, is man’s greatest need and greatest safeguard. There is no single royal road to build your character. A variety of routes will always need to be used.

Man is not a creature of circumstances. He is really the architect of circumstances. A man of character builds an existence out of circumstances. He steadily perseveres and plods. He does not look back. He marches forward bravely. He is not afraid of obstacles. He never frets and fumes. He never gets discouraged and disappointed. He is full of vigour, energy, via and vitality. He is ever zealous and enthusiastic.
Small kind acts, small courtesies, small consideration, small benevolence, habitually practised in your social intercourse give a greater charm to your character than great platform lectures, discourses, oration, exhibition of talents, etc.

Character is what one is: reputation, what he is thought to be. His record is the total of his actions. One’s nature includes all his original endowments or propensities; character includes both natural and acquired traits.

CHARITY

That which is given to relieve the needy is charity. True charity is the desire to be useful to others without thought of recompense or reward.

Give cheerfully, quickly and without hesitation.

Prayer takes you halfway to God, fasting to the door of His Supreme Abode and charity procures you admission. Charity is love in action.
The whole world is your home. You are a citizen of the world. Cultivate a generous feeling for the welfare of the whole world.

Every good act is charity. Giving water to the thirsty is charity. An encouraging word to a man in distress is charity. Giving a little medicine to the poor sick man is charity. Removing a thorn or a glass piece on the road is charity.
A little good thought and a little kindness are often worth more than giving a great deal of money.

The best form of charity is Vidya-Dana, imparting wisdom. Wisdom removes ignorance, the cause for taking a body and destroys in toto all sorts of miseries and suffering, for ever.
The second best form of charity is giving medicine to the sick.
The third best form of charity is Anna-dana or giving food to the hungry.

First daughter to the love of God is charity to the poor.
Charity given with an unwilling heart is not charity. Charity is not confined to giving in term of dollars, rupees or shillings. Think well towards suffering people. Pray for their welfare. This will accomplish more good than much money.

Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda

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Your Personal Shopping Basket

Personal Shopping BasketOur personality can be compared to a shopping basket. We go to the supermarket with loads of food, household stuff and utensils. We walk around and buy things that are most to our likes denying those that we dislike. For example, we buy a toothbrush of medium roughness, because someone told you that hard one will damage your teeth, in better case your previous experience with hard toothbrush was not so pleasant, so you’d made a conclusion that you need either medium or soft. This time you’ve decided to try medium one, if it doesn’t suit you will go for soft one or choose another manufacturer. So you might throw the medium toothbrush the same day you bought it. With regrets about money spent, or time wasted for going to the market for the second time or without any. At the counter the contents of your basket will be closely scanned and studied by a cashier. The cashier might suggest you to buy a different brand of the toothbrush with regards to her/his experience with toothbrushes. You might be influenced by her/his words or ignore and stay with your choice. Might a crowd in the queue will share their suggestions and ideas for you to accept and follow or reject and stick to your internal feel about toothbrushes.
Our personally is truly a supermarket basket, a selection of ideas, concepts, likes and dislikes, prejudices and believes, emotions and feelings most part of which are hidden below the counter of our conscious level influencing our decisions and choices from behind the scenes. And the society is the cashier to persuade you into the righteousness of your choices made. Have you ever thought that you can form and shape your personality in whatever character you can imagine possible? That if for a moment you can stop clinging to your attachments and aversions, denying the society a role of the Supreme Judge and in contrast finding the Supreme Judge within, the Infinite and Absolute Truth that dwells within all dwellers of the Universe. Then it would cost you just nothing to decide to throw away any negative emotion or feeling buzzing in your head at the exact moment it arises or deny any false or fake action, speech or thought the moment you become aware of it. And in that particular glimpse of pure awareness, spontaneous and unconditional moment It wouldn’t be anything more than throwing a toothbrush that didn’t match your teeth. Would it?

Daily practice: each moment that you express your thoughts, ideas, react to the situation emotionally, accepting or denying any outside condition, hold on for a while, linger on just for a second or two. Try to feel your inner voice. Ask yourself – is it me who chooses it? Do I really need it? What inner consequences I am to face if I react to it this way? Try to be honest. Don’t go for outer reasoning. Dive into your True Self. Open yourself to the situation and question. Through persistent practice you will realize that you no longer buy those nicely advertised products, they neither touch nor catch you. The market doesn’t decide for you. And that is part of your self-liberation called freedom. 

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