dena prem lena kam govinda radhe,
lena dena donon vyapar bata de
In the world there are only three kinds of people: those who only give, those who only take and those who give and take.
We consider those who only take to be selfish or self-centred and we call such people all kinds of derogatory names. They also commit all kinds of sin because they have only one goal - to take from others. Those who give and take, we consider humane. They don’t just take, they also give in return. For example, we all behave appropriately with our relatives. If we didn’t act properly with them, then they would behave the same way with us. If your relative became sick and you ran to get everything he needed, gave him medicine and stayed up all night taking care of him, then he would do the same for you if you became sick. This is called "social behaviour." The majority of people who come in this category are not extraordinarily selfish.
Shopkeepers are not causelessly gracious, but they do behave nicely with their customers. They open their shops in the morning, clean and sweep, turn on the fans and make a nice place for their customers to sit. If someone stands in front of the shop, they warmly invite them to come inside. That person may say, “Why are you calling me?” The shopkeeper will ask, “Do you wish to buy something?” If the person says, “No, I’m just looking,” his response will be, “Oh.” In one second, the shopkeeper becomes neutral towards that customer.
If that customer remains outside his shop a bit longer, he will try again, “Look, why don’t you come inside and have a closer look?” If the customer enters and says, “I want a sari,” he will spread out ten or twenty saris before that customer. “I only need one sari!” The shopkeeper will say, “Of course, take only one, but at least have a look.” The shopkeeper is clever. He knows that if the customer sees so many saris, he will end up liking one or the other. If the customer likes one, he also knows he can add an additional 10 rupees to the price. This is called give and take. The customer gives money in exchange for the shopkeeper’s goods. The whole world operates on this basis. Every government operates this way. If the balance of give and take is disturbed because someone is taking more, then conflicts begin.
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
8 December 2009
Bhakti Dham, Mangarh
© Radha Govind Samiti