Last year, Swami Kriyananda was asked the question: What is the secret of happiness?

“The most important secret of happiness is self-offering to God. When you can offer yourself to God, and claim nothing for yourself, you find you’re always happy. Happiness is when the joy of God can sing though you. That happiness comes from giving your life to Him.”

I love how Swami can take complex issues and distill them down to simple statements. His answer is uncomplicated and direct. Completely giving our lives to God is a long process for all of us. The great news is that we, as disciples, are in the process of willingly undergoing this transformation.

I was recently speaking with a friend about tithing. She said: “When we get up in the morning we brush our teeth as a part of our bodily hygiene. We meditate as part of our spiritual hygiene. Tithing is another part of our spiritual hygiene. Tithing helps us learn how to live in this material world in the right way, and understand the deeper flows of abundance. My experience has been if I don’t tithe, this somehow puts me out of alignment with the rest of my spiritual practices.”

There is the old saying: “You can’t take it with you.” My friend also said, “Wealth generated in the heart through the practice of tithing is something you take with you. Tithing gives back more than we give. It helps us open our heart.”

In Swami Kriyananda’s book, Money Magnetism, he writes: “As long as we have the consciousness of hoarding—of taking for ourselves and never allowing the energy to flow through us to others—we block that energy flow; in time, it may cease altogether.”

If we want God, we can’t hold onto anything in this world. With all the contractiveness that can be associated with money, it is so much easier in the long run to include God in this part of our lives. When we give, we open our heart in a different way, which allows us to receive His grace. This is what transforms our lives and will make us always ever aware of His in-dwelling joy and happiness.

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