Celebrating Birthdays: A Profound Shift from Receiving to Giving


The week culminating on Sunday is my birthday week, and it has been truly marvellous. I’ve been blessed with countless well-wishes and gifts. Among these gifts, the one that holds a special place in my heart is the book I received – “The Autobiography of Yogi.” This cherished book had been on my wish list for quite some time, eluding me on several occasions when I attempted to purchase it due to unavailability. It seems destiny had a role to play, ensuring that I received it as a birthday present.

Today, I am excited to share a profound conversation I had with a wise sage (Muniji), specifically regarding birthdays and their celebration. This dialogue occurred back in 2015, but its relevance remains as strong as ever. So, without further delay, let us move into this enlightening exchange.

One serene evening, as I gazed upon the sunset and marvelled at the intricate dance of clouds and colours across the sky, I found myself seated by a tranquil lake. A sense of solitude enveloped me, and it was at this moment that Muniji, known to me, joined me on the bench. Our silent understanding communicated a mutual desire to honour the sacredness of the silence between us.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, our conversation spontaneously shifted to the topic of birthdays.

Muniji and Me

Muniji inquired, “When is your birthday?

I replied,On August 13th.

He continued,So, what do you typically do on your birthday?

Nothing!I laughed.I’m not particularly fond of elaborate celebrations, especially on my birthday. To me, it’s just another day in life.

His eyes reflected surprise and curiosity. “Why is that? Isn’t your birthday a day of great joy?he asked.

With a smile, I responded succinctly, “No!

A comfortable silence enveloped us for a few moments before Muniji resumed,While I understand your perspective, it’s important to consider the other side of the coin. Isn’t celebrating your birthday an opportunity to embrace and share joy?

I found myself pondering this notion, struggling to grasp its meaning. Muniji continued, unfazed by my confusion. “Does celebration only equate to parties? There’s a broader perspective to consider. Embrace your birthday by giving rather than indulging. Giving doesn’t necessarily imply material gifts.

He went on to explain various forms of giving, illustrating his point with examples:

– “Start the day early, relinquishing laziness.” (Giving Away Laziness)

– “Visit a temple or place of worship, shedding ego.” (Giving Away Ego)

– “Prepare breakfast for your family, granting them a respite from daily chores.” (Giving Break)

– “Infuse your day with joy, free from the weight of expectations.” (Giving Away Expectation)

– “Surround yourself with positivity, discarding negativity.” (Giving Away Negativity)

His words resonated profoundly, challenging my perspective. I was left in awe of his insight. He encouraged me to explore this concept further. “Are you following along?he asked, his gaze fixed upon me.

Yes, indeed,I replied. “But I’m intrigued by how you arrived at this unique approach to celebration.”

Muniji’s response was enlightening: “This perspective emerged from conscious awareness, not just for the sake of celebration. By nurturing a habit of giving, we expand our understanding of joy.” Curiosity still burning within me, I posed a question,What if one lacks such awareness and struggles to find ways of giving?

He responded with a hearty laugh, “Even without heightened consciousness, there are tangible ways to give – through acts such as donating money or gifts. The value lies not in the quantity but in the intention behind the gesture.

His wisdom continued to flow: “Consider this – you can take a sum, even as modest as Rs. 100, and distribute 10 notes of Rs. 10 each among ten children you encounter. This act need not differentiate between beggars and others; rather, it exemplifies the spirit of sharing.

As the clock struck 8 in the evening, Muniji signaled the conclusion of our dialogue.I hope you find merit in this approach. Give it a try and celebrate your birthday with this newfound perspective. Farewell.

With a heart full of gratitude, I bid him farewell, internalizing his profound insights. The conversation left an indelible mark, compelling me to integrate its essence into my life.

The revelation of celebrating through giving, rather than receiving, left me astounded. Even after Muniji’s departure, I continued to contemplate and assimilate his teachings. And so, this transformative dialogue found its conclusion.

Dear reader, I am grateful for your patience in journeying through this narrative. My intention is not solely to convey the essence of celebration, but to facilitate a profound understanding of this concept and its far-reaching implications.

Though this conversation transpired in 2015, its profound wisdom flourished within me, eventually fully understood it in the year 2023. This realization took eight years to crystallize, a testament to the depth of its impact.

In the past week, news of divorces among my friends has dominated conversations. Upon reflection, I traced this phenomenon to unmet expectations within relationships. This pattern, deeply ingrained in our minds since childhood, has its origins in none other than birthday celebrations. Allow me to explain.

Consider the common scenario: a child’s birthday celebration, where gifts flow abundantly. The child, innocent and eager, receives and expects presents from everyone. This early experience subtly shapes their perception that joy and happiness derive from receiving. Unbeknownst to us, this belief plants roots that continue to influence us as adults. High expectations, often unmet, sow seeds of dissatisfaction, leading to strained relationships and, sadly, even divorce.

“Celebrate your birthday with the gift of giving, for true joy comes not from receiving, but from giving.”

– Jugal Solanki

Let me clarify—I am not advocating against celebrating birthdays. On the contrary, the celebration should abound with enthusiasm. However, let’s instil in children the habit of giving. Encourage them to experience the joy of bestowing gifts upon others. This simple shift from taking to giving can foster a balanced, harmonious adulthood, creating a generation of responsible, content citizens.

As we part ways for now, I extend my gratitude for your heart-warming birthday wishes, which prompted me to begin this article by sharing my insights—a form of giving that brings me joy. As you celebrate your birthdays, pledge to give, regardless of the scale, and experience the bliss of selfless generosity.

I eagerly anticipate your thoughts on this subject and the emotions it stirred within you. Until we meet again in the next blog, remember: Stay Happy, Stay Joyful, Keep Giving!

#BirthdayCelebration #JoyfulGiving #ShiftYourPerspective #TransformativeWisdom #SelflessGenerosity #CelebrateWithPurpose #JoyfulLiving #InnerGrowth #PositiveMindset #RedefineHappiness #MeaningfulCelebration #GenerosityMatters #RelationshipHarmony #BalanceInLife #Contentment

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Birthdays: A Profound Shift from Receiving to Giving”

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on birthday celebrations being about giving than receiving. It’s always good to give and what better day to start than your birthday.
    Hopefully more people will follow this experience the joy of giving.

    1. Absolutely, Kiran! Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to spread joy through giving. I hope this perspective resonates with many and leads to more heartwarming experiences. Thank you for your thoughtful insights!

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