Recently, Bhante Sujatha recounted a story from an occasion when he was sitting at the airport waiting for a flight. Without warning, a hand reached over his should from behind him and a twenty dollar bill was dropped in his lap.
By the time he could turn around to see who this was, the person was already many paces away. Bhante could only see his back, and could only tell it was a young man.
I find this story to be so meaningful in so many ways. First of all, as a pure demonstration of real dana. Giving with no expectation, attachment or thanks.
Words from the Dana Sutta seem to describe this type of giving so beautifully.
”Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death'”.
And also, from the Sappurisadana Sutta comes this verse about the integrity of giving (dana).
“A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others.”
So I see that the purest form of giving is one which is totally free of acknowledgement, and it’s only intention is one of good benefit with proper intention towards another.
And that young man certainly showed me what that looks like.
I wonder how often any of us give in this way. And how beautiful and inspiring it is to understand this selfless loving behavior shown by this young man on that day!
I am so grateful to that young man, who is nameless and faceless. He was a great teacher for me.
So what’s the big deal about twenty bucks? I will leave that for you to decide.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.