In truth, philanthropy is a multifaceted endeavor. Its nature is not limited to financial assistance alone to the less fortunate. For example delivering a Teaching to someone that is later liberated as a result of that “seed” you planted in them is a merit of the highest order. In the spirit world everything changes in meaning and scope. The most important thing is that every act of selfless philanthropy, however small, counts in a unique in our spiritual attainments either in the present or, most importantly, in the hereafter.
Andrew Carnegie (late 19th century) is one of the few men who possessed subtle understanding, though obliviously so, of the merit that permeates from true philanthropy. He once stated that acquiring wealth is not the hardest thing (as most people think) but that actually distributing wealth wisely is the hardest thing for all humans everywhere. Such a statement cannot come from someone who does not distinguish good and bad or who only cherishes greed and stinginess. Such a statement concerning generosity can only come from someone who knows something about spreading charity and of the fruits and rewards of giving.
Ignorance is the cross upon which people unconsciously choose to crucify themselves upon. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with amassing wealth, there is a problem when one industriously guards and protects their fortunes with the aim of benefiting of it all by themselves. There is no better explanation of duality than this. This is a well understood and accepted concept in Buddhism. It is also one of the pillars in all other religions are doctrines for, there has never been anyone who attained true wisdom and self-realization without first understanding the doctrine of selfless generosity.
True enlightenment means transcending all delusions of separateness and miserliness. When a miser sees a beggar coming he immediately becomes displeased, and if he fails to protect themselves and are forced to donate in charity, they subconsciously generate a subtle resentment so that it seems like they are cutting a piece of flesh off their own body. The Truth I seek to illumine here is that charity is the oldest tradition, older than religion itself. There are people who are boundlessly stingy. Amassing so much wealth, more than can even use by themselves in their present life, they forget to meditate on their spiritual nature and the purpose they are supposed to fulfil in their current lives. This way it becomes easy as ABCD for such people to gain rebirth in planes where they have to entertain untold starvation. The laws of nature are inflexible, reason why it’s as rare to find a man of truth as it is rare to find a bull that produces milk. (Grins)
The more and more a person meditates the more they acquire a certain transcendental intuition that reveals subtly inconceivable knowledge of their past lives. This is main aim of meditation, and a subject rarely discussed primarily because most lack the qualification to do so. The elimination of this ignorance brings the awareness of the mundane nature of taking joy in worldly pleasures – the deadly fruit of duality. This realization enables one to understand the importance of practicing benevolent charity, thus praising those who delight in authentic giving, and as such ability to attain detachment to his possessions while not losing his/her fortunes. If viewed through the eyes of wisdom, the message of emphasis here it how to break the inevitable cycle of attachment that is the sole barrier to Enlightenment.
It is by the virtue of such unbecoming that some fail to comprehend the profound principles for the attainment of Supreme Awakening even though such people may cross paths with the Unsurpassed Buddhas who fervently emphasize the cultivation and practice of the wholesome Teachings of Truth.