Gift and the Giver

So, how do we come out of this trap? Guru Ji says seek the Giver, and not the gift....

Editor's Note: The followed was authored by Tvisha Ahuja who is 15 year old high school student from Dublin California. 


Sitting on the beach, I was playing with sand. I picked a handful of sand, and the more I tightened my grip, the faster it slipped out from between my fingers. When I released my grip, the struggle stopped. When I opened my fingers, sand just stayed there on my palm. I am realizing that it is not just sand, but other things from this world also behave the same way, be it personal relationships, professional goals, social statuses or more. The more I try to grasp them, the faster they try to escape or evade me. It feels like an endless craving with a want for more, fear of loss, and there being no contentment. Perhaps, I am understanding why this duniya is called maya. A mirage that cannot quench our thirst. It keeps us running while our life passes by.


So, how do we come out of this trap? Guru Ji says seek the Giver, and not the gift. Seek the Creator, and not the creation. Practically, we experience this at a very early age, and yet we take so long to appreciate the guidance. As young children, when we are given gifts in form of toys etc., we come to realize that those gifts cannot hold our attention for long. We also come to realize that a gift that is given can also be taken away. We all love to receive gifts, and when a gift is taken away, children recover relatively faster from the loss. Recovery from the loss becomes harder as we grow older.

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Why is that? Recovery is harder when we give more importance to the gift, so much so that we forget the Giver. As our focus shifts from the Giver to the gift or the object of our desires, we become dependent, attached, or addicted to these gifts. Consequently, when we lose them, we grieve, we shatter, and we find it hard to move forward. I am understanding that this cycle will continue to wreck our lives till we shift our focus from the gift (maya) to the Giver (Our Maker). If we seek Him, He can guide our way out of the trap of maya. He can fill our hearts with contentment, not momentary, but eternal.

True to His attribute, He can mend our broken hearts. So, when going gets tough, I ask myself: who do I love most- the gift or the Giver? Who fills my thoughts, my words, and my actions more— the creation or the Creator? Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji guides me:

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ 5 ॥

ਕਰ ਕਰਿ ਟਹਲ ਰਸਨਾ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਉ ॥

With my hands I do His work; with my tongue I sing His Glorious Praises.

ਚਰਨ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੈ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਧਾਵਉ ॥1॥

With my feet, I walk on the Path of my Lord and Master. ||1||

ਭਲੋ ਸਮੋ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥

It is a good time, when I remember Him in meditation.

ਸਿਮਰਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਭੈ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਰੀਆ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, I cross over the terrifying world-ocean. ||1||Pause||

ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਸੰਤਨ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖੁ ॥

With your eyes, behold the Blessed Vision of the Saints.

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਵਿਨਾਸੀ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਲੇਖੁ ॥2॥

Record the Immortal Lord God within your mind. ||2||

ਸੁਣਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਸਾਧ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਇ ॥

Listen to the Kirtan of His Praises, at the Feet of the Holy.

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਕੀ ਤ੍ਰਾਸ ਮਿਟਾਇ ॥3॥

Your fears of birth and death shall depart. ||3||

ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰਿ ॥

Enshrine the Lotus Feet of your Lord and Master within your heart.

ਦੁਲਭ ਦੇਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਿ ॥4॥51॥120॥

Thus this human life, so difficult to obtain, shall be redeemed. ||4||51||120||

Tvisha Ahuja

Waves of life bring happiness and sadness, and I am learning that suffering can be prevented by developing inner strength. I want to share what I am learning - Writing has great power, and I hope to use it to make this world brighter. 

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