A Hindi poetry by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, recommended for undergraduate students in India. The poem outlines a unique perspective about the life of Karna!
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar sketches the story from the point of view of Karna – one of my role models when it comes to charity and life lived on their own terms, honing their own skills! The clarity Karna has about what belongs or not to him and why charity was so important to him touched my soul when I read the book!
My mom told my children that the day I got this book as a child, I finished reading the whole book in one day! Some books just seem to resonate with a core part of ourselves that it resonates within us for the rest of our lives!
Decades later, my children presented me this book for my birthday and I was in tears!
Son of the Sun-God (Karna) Life filled with discipline, rules, charity, leadership, excellence, high sense of right and wrong and yet, when he had to live like the son of a charioteer, he could not let go of his traits and continued to live on his own terms! The ONLY Kaurava friend who ends up going to heaven at the end – because he got to live by his Dharma!
Quoting a 4-line verse from Rashmirathi –
Translating the verse
Charity is a natural law of the world, but man fears it unnecessarily!
One day all of us have to give up everything that we call “ours”!
Only those remain who willingly gave up their possessions in a timely manner
And those who are philanthropic without an understanding of timeliness, do so and still die!
Underlying meaning it tries to convey
Donate to someone who is in need in a timely manner, without attempting to hoard your possessions, as we do not get to take anything with us when we die. Charity made in a timely manner helps one live and be remembered for a long after they are gone and charity done otherwise dies with us!