Sharing and Spreading JOY


One day a man from a nearby village called out at the monastery gates and handed the old monk who opened it, a magnificent bunch of grapes, saying, “Dear Father, I have brought as a gift the finest grapes my vineyard has produced.”

The monk smiled, “Thank you, I will take them to the Abbot immediately; he’ll be delighted with this offering.” But the villager said, “No, no I brought them for you.”

The old monk didn’t think he deserved such a fine gift.

“Oh yes!” insisted the man. “For whenever I come by, you open the gates and welcome me. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed, you shared your meal with me every day. I hope this bunch of grapes will remind you of the sun’s love, the rain’s beauty and the miracle of God, for it is He who made them grow so fine.”

The monk held the bunch of grapes. It looked full and luscious. He decided to present it to the Abbot, who had always encouraged him with words of wisdom.

The Abbot was very pleased with the grapes, but as he accepted them, he thought of one of the brothers who had been very unwell. “I’ll give him these grapes; they may bring some joy to his life.”

But the grapes didn’t stay in the sick monk’s room for long.

He reflected, “Brother Cook has been feeding me such nourishing meals to help me recover. I’m sure he will enjoy these.”

As the cook brought him his meal, he presented him with the grapes. “They’re for you,” said the sick monk. “You work so hard; take a moment to sit and enjoy these.”

Brother Cook was amazed at the beauty of the grapes. Then he thought of the newest entrant to the monastery. He decided to gift them to the youngster, as he felt he might be a bit lonely without his family and also so that he might understand that the work of God is in the smallest details of creation.

When the novice received them, his heart was filled with the Glory of the Lord, for he had never seen such beautiful grapes. Just then, he recalled the first time he came to the monastery and of the simple old monk who had opened the gates and warmly welcomed him; it was that gesture which allowed him to feel at home in this community of people, who knew how to value the wonders of life.

And so, he walked to the monk at the gates.

“Eat and enjoy them,” he said. “For you spend most of your time alone here, and these grapes will make you very happy.”

Happiness depends on what you can give, not what you can get.”

Mahatma Gandhi (Young India)

We should learn to discover and know joys in the smallest and the most insignificant things, but when we learn to discover joy in someone else’ happiness we will never be unhappy.

Sometimes joy is the source of our smile, but sometimes our smile can be the source of other’s joy.

The greatest joy comes when we become the cause of someone else’ happiness.


“The way to be happy is to make others so.”

– Robert Ingersoll

“Give! Give! Give away! Whatever we have is not for us to enjoy. We are mere messengers carrying His Gifts for others.

Give cheerfully, joyously.

This is the Law of Love.

Cease to give, you cease to have.

Never sit and cry,

“Nobody loves me” – nobody will until you start loving others.

Give love to get love.”

Swami Chinmayananda

All that we give to others we are giving to ourselves.

In nature, the sun, the rains, the spring, the rivers and the trees work in a system of giving.


Give as the rose gives fragrance, because it is its own nature, utterly unconscious of giving.

– Swami Vivekananda

We should give for the inner joy of giving without thinking about gratitude or ingratitude.

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.

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