89. Question: Can generosity ever be a spiritual fault?

Sri Chinmoy: Generosity can never be a spiritual fault, but we should try to know what compels us to be generous — whether it is our vital or our spontaneous heart, and whether it is something God-ordained. If our generosity is founded upon the pleasure of the vital, or if it is motivated in any way by the vital, then that generosity is not true generosity. It is only an aggrandisement of our ego in a subtle, clever way. If it is a gift of the heart to someone in need, then it may be good. But it need not be always good. We may feel that somebody is in need, whereas in God's Eye perhaps it is not so because that person does not really need the thing.

Sometimes it may happen that when we give something, instead of its being a help, our gift can become a veritable obstacle in someone's life of aspiration. We may think that somebody is very poor while we are very rich, so we want to give him a large amount of money so that he does not have to work very hard and will be able to spend all his time meditating. But when we give him a large amount of money, he only wallows in the pleasures of ignorance; he gives up work, he does not remain in the world of aspiration, and lethargy becomes his friend. Now money-power he has gained, but aspiration-power has gone away. This is a mistake.

Our heart is not always totally one with our soul's realisation. But if the heart is offering something as a gift, and if we know that it is God's Will, then that generosity is absolutely a spiritual truth, spiritual light, spiritual perfection. At that time it is not only generosity; it is the completion of our life-journey, our universal journey, our own fulfilment in many hearts, in many faces, in many dreams and in many realities.