Whenever and wherever I come across some wisdom from Chinese philosophers I cannot help getting inspired. I picked up this quote from a fellow blogger Nina Mazlan a medical student studying for post-graduation in China.

Tao Te Ching

Verse 7

Heaven is eternal – the earth endures.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.

Effort-free tranquility


This is the secret of their durability.

For this reason the sage puts himself last and so ends up ahead. He stays a witness to life, so he endures.

Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled. Through selfless action, fulfilment is attained.

– Lao Tsu

Serving the needs of others is something I wish to practice with full commitment. And when we provide succor or support to those who are in need – it must be done with a sense of deep humility.

Cheers πŸ™‚

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About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

16 responses »

  1. Hi Dilip, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award as I love reading your blog.
    Check out my post to see the award and read some instructions that go along with it.http://mybeautfulthings.wordpress.com/versatile-blogger-award/
    Cheers, Sally

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Oh how very gracious of you Sally! Thank you for counting me in for this award. I’ll check-out the instructions and do the needful.

      With kind regards!
      Dilip

      Like

  2. Hitesh Punjabi says:

    Wow…
    Felt really good after reading this wonderful quote!

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Wow Hitesh how nice to hear from you πŸ™‚ I am sure you are enjoying the thrills of banking and finance to the utmost.

      Cheers and keep well my friend!

      Like

  3. Sriram says:

    Dear Sir,

    I really wonder if such a quote can be ascribed to the Great Lao Tzu. Every Self Realised Soul is Aware that the Only Reality is that there is but One and no Other. So when the Earth Supports or Nourishes, It is being True to Its Nature and cares two hoots whether people benefit from it. Hence it quivers to make adjustments to its temperatures and results in ‘destruction’ of millions. And the Sage, lives only for Himself, because for Him there is No Other than Him in Existence.

    What is this ‘service’ to others? And why do we treat this as a ‘virtue’?
    Swami Vivekananda had a wonderful anecdote for this – A rich man was very particular about a habit of his – going to the temple every month on a particular day & ‘feeding’ the beggars there. He wanted to demonstrate his ‘service’ to Vivekananda and asked him to accompany him to witness the ‘gala’ event. Vivekananda too wanted to amuse this person & went along. En route their carriage was stopped by a frail old man who was crossing the road slowly as he was too weak to move. The delay enraged the rich man and he took a bag full of coins & threw it at the old man saying take this and move on, I am in a generous mood today!. The carriage had hardly moved ahead when it was struck by an object – The Old Man had thrown the bagful of coins back! This added fuel to the raging rich man & he remarked – people are not even grateful these days! Here I am trying to help the man & he has the temerity to refuse MY help!. Vivekananda smiled and asked the rich man, ” Who is helping whom?” the rich man controlling his rage within, burst out ‘ Isn’t it obvious? I am helping the poor & needy! is there any doubt?” Swamiji continued – Just imagine if the ‘poor & needy’ were all like this old man refusing to be ‘helped’, then WHO is helpless? Remember it is YOU who are being ‘helped’ by these people to be seen to be ‘useful’ to them. So you must be grateful that you can be of ‘service’ to them!! The rich man fell at Swamiji’s feet and realised his folly and understood that the ‘needy’ were ‘serving’ him by giving him the ‘satisfaction’ of being ‘of use’!!

    So Masters were very clear about what they meant by Service & hence reiterated that the Highest for of Service is ‘lifting oneself & Being the Self’ & in that process the ‘service to others’ is a wonderful ‘tool’ that accelerates the process & hence they included that in the tool kit.

    Ayn Rand had a philosophy that discussed the concept of proper selfishness. nature is properly selfish. and we humans have created ‘culture’ that makes us ‘improperly selfish’ – the practice of exclusion, with the focus on the ‘exclusive self’ rather than being properly selfish which is about the ‘inclusive Self’.

    It is this practice of exclusion that discriminates and sees people as ‘hi’ & ‘low’, the helper & the helped creating distinctions, thereby creating a ‘virtue’ out of ‘serving the others’. Let’s drop these ‘virtuous overtones’ and see it as the left hand working together with the right hand rather than anything else. when parts of your body ‘help’ each other do they call it ‘service to the other’ and feel ‘nice’ to have ‘helped’? So if we are the all Inclusive Self, who is ‘helping’ & who is the ‘helped’??

    Cheers!

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Dear Sri,

      Quite a stunning response indeed and perfectly true. However regardless of the authorship of the Verse being ascribed to the Great Lao Tzu the wisdom its wisdom is leaning towards the perhaps the 99 plus percent of this planets population. It is only the rarest few who can be said to be ‘self-realized’. Of course they themselves would never say so.

      But coming to the lay person and seekers most of our mentors in various ‘sat-sangs’ tell us that the purpose of our lives must be understood. One such purpose being – be of use or of help to the one who really needs that help. The caution here is that when help is rendered even the slightest trace of ego must not be allowed to creep in. And for this reason the help or ‘Seva’ is best when done at the behest of the mentor (or Guru). This then could be termed as a simple way of spirituality.

      Hey Sri I have given my take on this based on my limited exposure to the scriptures and do acknowledge your own depth in spirituality.

      P.S. Helping others need not be monetary like the example given in the Vivekananda story of the arrogant ‘Giver’. It can even mean cheering up patients in a hospital or in a old age home and so on – simple little acts.

      Like

      • Sriram says:

        dear sir,

        this ‘helping others’ as a concept must fade…. even if we are ‘cheering others’ who is ‘cheering’ whom?

        So again we need to be aware that simple ‘acts’ are basically acts of proper selfishness – to realize constantly that it is a balanced transaction in itself and there is no ‘gratitude’ to be felt by the ‘cheered’ or ‘helped’ so that we can ‘claim’ to have been virtuous!

        Once we demolish this ‘nice feeling’ of being ‘helpful’ reality dawns that we are essentially connected as ONE and therefore we need not ‘feel’ ‘great’ about our ‘helping nature’ and just be.

        It is this ‘nice feeling’ that feeds the ego – making us feel ‘greater’ than we are like in the case of the rich man.

        So it best to see things as they are, not through the coloured lenses of ‘virtue’ to avoid the trap laid for us – of being satisfied with being virtuous when we can actually go beyond and become the SELF!

        And this logic of 99% , majority is like this – never works for we are all unique and we are all but ONE! so whither the majority, when there is either ONE or NONE?

        Cheers!

        PS – great that your blog is nominated! Best Wishes!!

        Like

      • Dilip says:

        Dear Sri,

        I have read your thoughtful response with interest. And while I now understand the delusive concept of “helping other” I think your earlier comment “So if we are the all Inclusive Self, who is β€˜helping’ & who is the β€˜helped’” answers many things!

        Thanks dear friend for sharing. Cheers

        P.S Thanks for the congrats.

        Like

  4. jakesprinter says:

    Beautiful post my friend πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. amira says:

    a good way to lead a life. Serve the needs of others πŸ™‚

    Like

  6. Margie says:

    You Dilip, are a very special human being, and I am very happy our paths crossed.

    Like

  7. Shri says:

    Respected Sir,

    This is very inspiring for me..It really motivated me for doing something for other without any intention. I always tried from my side to help others and this inspiring saying will help me in future to keep doing for others.

    Regards,

    Shri

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Dear Shri … ditto ditto ditto for me too! I too have the same thoughts as you on this! So lets be aware and alert on the real needs of others and do our bit.

      Warm regards!

      Like

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