The quality of giving

Once upon a time, in a small village there lived a woman and her seven-year-old daughter, Gowri. After Gowri's father passed away, her mother earned a living as a maidand spent her days providing the best she could afford to Gowri. Though they were poor, they lived happily in their humble hut. Every day, her mother would tell Gowri different stories about God, and about love, kindness and honesty. She also taught Gowri how to chant (repeat God's Name) while doing her activities. Soon Gowri developed great faith in God and good qualities like obedience, love, a giving nature, etc.

A few years later, a drought hitthe land. Wells dried up, streams evaporated, grass and crops dried-up. The grassy and green land turned bare and brown.

The lady could not find any work and fell ill, with hardly any food or water around. The whole village faced poverty with the crops drying up. Water was very hard to come by, and soon, people started fighting over any water they could find. Gowri and her mother had to buy a little water in exchange for the pots and pans in the hut. Soon, that water too, got over. Since her mother fell seriously ill,Gowri went in search of water with the only vessel that was left in the hut.

Gowri walked past dried-up riverbeds and along a road that led up a mountain. On and on she marched, with faith in God and constantly chanting. At about noon, she saw fresh water dripping down a rock. Gowri carefully held the tiny vessel below the rock until it was full. She was happy, as now she could offer water to her mother.

On the way back home, when she reached the foot of the hill, she saw a puppy. He was having difficulty walking and his tongue was hanging out. "You poor thing," said Gowri. "I must give you some water to drink. I am sure that there will be enough left for my mother." Saying so, Gowri poured some water into her palm. The puppy eagerly lapped up the water. When he finished, he wagged his tail in gratitude and ran away. Gowri was chanting God's Name with full concentration and did not notice that the water level in the vessel had not changed.

She quickly rushed back home. The neighbour, who was looking after her mother, opened the door. She was so thirsty that she could hardly speak. Without a moment's hesitation, Gowri poured out some water for her. Drinking it down quickly, the neighbour said, "Thank you so much. May God bless you." Gowri did not notice that the water level still did not go down. Thanking her neighbour for looking after her mother, Gowri quickly went to her mother and held the vessel to her mother's lips. After drinking some water, shefelt much better and asked Gowri to drink up the remaining water. That's when Gowri realised how thirsty she was! Just as she was about to drink the water, she heard a knock on the door.

When she opened it, she saw an old mendicant (person who goes door to door begging for food), "Please give me some water. I shall die of thirst if I do not get some water soon," he begged. Gowri quickly handed over the vessel to him. He smiled as he took it and then turned the vessel upside down. The water fell onto the ground. Before Gowri could say anything, a fountain came up from the spot, where the mendicant had dropped the water! There was enough water, not only for Gowri and her mother, but also for the entire village!

As soon as Gowri recovered from her surprise, she looked at the mendicant. But he had disappeared. Gowri realised that God Himself had come in the form of the mendicant! She felt great joy and paid gratitude to God for visiting her humble house.

Moral: The above story, wherein Gowri could give even the precious little water she had to someone else, shows her great faith and the quality of her ability to give. We generally do not have to face such tough situations. However, we can be satisfied and happy like Gowri, if we too, become giving in nature and have full of faith in God, no matter what difficulties we have to face. Chanting God's Name as much as possible daily and learning to give in all activities is a sure way to develop faith and a giving attitude.