Donating Money to Spiritual Organizations


I'm deeply devoted to Master and consider it a blessing to be associated with Ananda. I have no qualms in devoting my time or efforts but have a personal issue with money. Due to past history, I have a negative association with Donations to spiritual organizations. I'm not greedy. When I weigh & calculate how much money to give, I feel like I'm measuring my willingness and devotion, which I pray to God be perfect/complete. I feel less awkward donating in 'kind' (Food, articles, etc.). Pls advise.

—Sg, US


Dear Friend,

Your inner conflict is not an uncommon one. Each of us has our inner obstacles to overcome, and money is one of the core issues for the ego that many, many people must wrestle with.

Yes, there are organizations who give charity a bad name but look within yourself. Is it not, perhaps, also an issue around money and what it represents to you? I cannot say, of course, but I have worked so often with individuals on this particular question, that I inevitably find the issue is not about organizations but attachment, fear, insecurity, habit, and so on.

Divine Mother certainly seeks our Love above all else. But our love is not pure or whole until we release all material attachments.

This does not suggest we become financially irresponsible, but generosity is a good start. Just as we are invited to discipline ourselves and hold ourselves to daily meditation and to the service of good works, why, then, is money any different?

No organization is perfect and holding up the thought that one will only give if every “penny” is used well and wisely (according to one’s own definition, of course) is to hide from the real issue of giving “all” to God and releasing all lesser attachments.

Here’s my suggestion: start small. Pray to Master and ask him how much (say, per month) he would be pleased to have you contribute to his worthy work in the world? He can tell you. Whatever amount you commit to, large or small, should come from your heart, without attachment, with joy and gratitude, and with no expectations of recognition or strings as to its use (so long as of course it is used in Master’s work!).

What others have found in this kind of giving is a sense of joy and freedom, so much so that with continued experimentation, they find themselves wanting to give more – and perhaps having to curb their own enthusiasm in order to keep in balance their other, many material responsibiliies!

Imagine that!

Imagine praying to Master and saying: “Master, all that I am is yours. All that I have is yours. Guide me in perfecting my love and discipleship so that I, too, can be free. Let me help others as you have helped me and so many others.”

Blessings to you,
Nayaswami Hriman