To Beg or Not to Beg
The other morning a group of us had a discussion on this topic. Should we be asking for things from God? Or should we simply trust that the Divine One will deliver what we need when the time is right? Another point raised during this discussion was about asking: was this still another form of begging? Therefore, was it correct to ask for something or not?
What are your thoughts?
How do you ask God for something?
What do you ask God for?
And what is the difference between begging and asking?
In the world around us we see that there can be the physical begging, where we literally ask others for money, food or shelter. And then there is the emotional begging that happens, sometimes without us even knowing we are doing it! The meaning of begging is to beseech others to grant a gift or favour of some kind, but with no expectation of return.
How many of us beg emotionally, that is, press others to give something to us? There may be little or no intention from our side to ever give back something in return. How often do we beg for love? But we ourselves have little of it or little time to give! Surely that is a form of begging as per the general definition. Respect, inclusion, belonging, appreciation are all such qualities that we may find ourselves begging for from time to time. Sometimes we may even believe that we have a right, or it could sometimes simply be out of ignorance or weakness.
One thing we should note about begging, is that there is an element of wanting things to come easily and freely. But we should know by now that nothing in life is free. Everything has a price tag, and perhaps we can’t see the tag today, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay for it.
When a child gets home from school and requests food from his or her mom or dad, is that called begging? No. It is his or her right and part of the natural bond of love and care. Also, the parents do not feel they are being coerced – well not most of the time anyway! There is a family relationship there and that’s all that matters. Sometimes begging may also entail a degree of manipulation of our emotions of fear, guilt and sympathy? We should perhaps check ourselves in this matter.
If we go further with this topic, then in the same vain if we have a relationship with God, then there is a duty to help us. We do not need to tell God how to do the job… or do we? God knows us as our Carer and Provider and so surely the Divine One will do the necessary. So, in reality we do not need to beg from God. We simply need to be in right relationship with the Divine One. To Trust and to believe in the One.
Begging from God (or from anyone for that matter), means we assume that others have to make all the effort; and we make none! That God will, or that the others will do our job for us! Begging means to take no self-responsibility!! Or perhaps just that much… to beg to survive! Begging can be seen as a lazy cop out to life. Yes, we may need help and support to get to a better place. We can understand that sometimes some people can be in that place, but not all the time. Once we start to believe in our self, or start believing in those who believe in us, then we can pull our self out of the rut!
Sometimes with just a bit of effort and motivation people can do something to earn a few pennies. We see so many viral videos of people without arms and legs doing fabulously well in life.
I remember on one occasion I was in one of the Middle East countries. It was a hot day! I was sitting in the passenger seat of my friend’s car. My friend was driving and we had to stop at the lights. We saw a young person selling water at the traffic lights. My friend felt pity for him and so pulled out some money to give to him. He in return was giving her a bottle of water. In response she said: “No, I don’t need the water.” To which he replied… “I am not a beggar!” As you can see, this has stayed with me as a very powerful and touching moment. To see someone who may have little of everything else, but yet that soul still had so much pride!
In fact, when we create good karma and are in good relations with everyone, then it’s easy to ask for help and assistance. Relationships are like a bank account, only when we have invested something into them can we then expect to take something out. So check your deposits on your personal relationship account. Are you in credit or debit? Then it will also not feel like a duty for the other party either. Hopefully, they will also feel happy to help and make a difference in your life.
In fact, we have to move into a much higher stage of trusting and believing that everything we need will come to us. One need not beg, nor ask. Wait, be patient, and at the right time… things just come when we come from the right inner space! This is the magic of living a magical spiritual life!
On the path of devotion when we look toward any famous saint, deity or prophet we want to receive some blessing from them. We see images of them giving blessings with their hands open and held out in the donor pose. But when we are the beggar, the one asking, then both our hands are empty, arms stretched out, palms facing up… and ready to take! Let us always be the givers and not the takers. The givers are the masters, the takers, the slaves.
It’s Time… to stop being a beggar and be in a positive relationship with our ‘self’, with God and with those around us in life. There is greater happiness in giving rather than taking.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK