The Art of Receiving

Our volunteer Swami Gurubhaktananda penned his thoughts on the art of receiving, please read his article below:

The Art of Receiving

We recently published an article on “The Art of Giving”. It was in keeping with the ABH’s motto of “Caring, Sharing and Serving”. But there is another virtue that giving has to pair up with, without which we cannot truly appreciate the greatness of the act of giving. If that second virtue is not forthcoming, the act of giving loses some of its lustre.

What is this second virtue? The Art of Receiving!

Giving and receiving are both capable of reaching great heights of nobility, heights that depend entirely on the spirit in which these simple-looking acts are done. Without the spirit behind the giving, this virtuous act lies in danger of becoming an ordinary mechanical act, the conveyance of an item from one hand into another. A conveyor belt also achieves the same result – it conveys an item from one end of a belt to another end some distance away. The belt is not interested in what it is conveying, nor to whom it is conveying it. It is a merely mechanical conveyance. If giving and receiving become as spiritless as that, they will not generate the happiness of the heart that we know them to be capable of.

When we give something to someone needy, we dare not imagine that he has nothing to give us in return. If his heart has been touched by the gift, he does respond.  It may just be a heartfelt smile; that is just as valuable as the gift of the giver. The receiver’s heartfelt gratitude in receiving is just as noble as the giver’s heartfelt charitable nature.

Giving and receiving are acts that mirror each other. A genuine need generates a genuine act to meet that need. In this way, nobility in the receiver is reflected in nobility in the giver. The two unite into one divine act of tender ‘caring’ and ‘sharing’ that is worthy of the name ‘serving’. Nobility of heart is the magic ingredient that raises both giving and receiving to heights which the human mind can hardly imagine. The heart then “outreaches” the mind, as it were, and great joy is experienced by both the giver and the receiver.

In this article we are focussing on Receiving. When we want to know more about the receiver, we do not look at his hand or his words, but at his heart. The heart is not percep­tible to the human senses. How are we to tell the nature of the heart that receives? Fortunately, the effects produced by a heart full of gratitude are very visible and very different from a heart that lacks it. Here is how a discerning person can tell the difference.

A “glimpse” of the receiver’s heart may be seen in the gesture of his hand as he receives, but that is not the whole picture. We get another “glimpse” in his words, but that too may be deceiving. Hands and words aren’t sophisticated mediums to convey the rich feelings of gratitude that well up in a noble-minded receiver.

We are compelled to turn to more subtle “glimpses”. We look at the eyes, and there we see an unmistakable glitter, a sparkle that expresses both gratitude and joy. We look at the forehead in which we see a radiant shine that is free from all creases of anxiety.

However, the best of all “glimpses” is seen in the receiver responding promptly to the act of receiving. A food consignment from a chain supermarket was received with the instruction to distribute it at once to the children and the elderly residents. Promptness in responding is a key indicator of how grateful we are in receiving a gift.


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The Benefit of Giving

Our volunteer Swami Gurubhaktananda penned his thoughts on the art of giving, please read his article below:

The Benefit of Giving

The mission statement of the ABH is “Caring, Sharing and Serving”. This ties up well with the principles of value-based education. What is the purpose of these three virtues? It is to Purify. “Purifying” is the essential purpose of our mission statement. All that the Home aims to achieve in this life for all who are engaged in its service activities, staff and residents alike, is to purify ourselves day by day, through every thought, word and deed, so that greater vistas may open up in our lives.

Great souls have given us many insights into the value of giving. They authenticate what the ABH is striving towards – excellence in virtue through sharing or giving. Their words inspire us to perform our sacred duty to GIVE, to SHARE. By following the enlightened ones of previous thriving civilisations, we can make our own civilisation equally glorious. If we imbibe their values we shall surely attain what they attained.

Our current lifestyle challenges can be greatly eased by practising the “Art of Giving”, the art of sharing.

We have a decision to make – to give or not to give. To give and share becomes the natural choice when we aim to ennoble our lives, even when the darkness of unrighteousness seems to envelop us. The saints of the past produced the literature of their time. If we live along the same lines, we will make our words and deeds worthy of being etched into the literature we write today.

Every sterling act of charity that we see or allow to flow through our minds, hearts and hands, ought to remind us of the preciousness of sharing.

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The ABH VJ Kara Family Centre offers hope to domestic violence survivors

The ABH VJ Kara Family Centre focuses on a variety of issues concerning society, such a crisis intervention, preventative programmes and awareness campaigns. Services provided by the ABH VJ Kara Family Centre include a temporary safe house, accommodation for women and their children, counselling and family therapy, practical support such as support groups, trauma intervention and crisis management, trauma debriefing and networking with other organisations. The ABH is a long-standing charity that offers care and shelter to the aged and frail, victims of violence and abuse, children and the mentally and physically challenged and is reliant on the generosity of donors to keep their residents in good care. The ABH VJ Kara Family Centre hopes that you will support the women and children that they care for by contributing towards their meals or providing toiletries. If you would like to contribute towards meals please email and if you would like to help in any other way please email All forms of help are welcome and appreciated.

Nirode Bramdaw, ABH’s spokesman and board member said: “South Africa has some of the most shocking statistics of domestic violence in the world, particularly against women. The ABH VJ Kara Family Centre has been assisting victims of abuse since 2007. The Centre is a safe house for abused women and their children. On an annual basis, we help more than 300 women and children who need accommodation and assistance.
“One of our previous residents at the ABH VJ Kara Family Centre Annie Naidoo* endured beatings from her husband for almost 22 years‚ until he smashed a snooker ball in her face which resulted in her permanently losing the eye. The ABH helped *Annie regain her confidence and today she is a much stronger and happier woman, said Bramdaw, adding that she is now a successful and gainful member of her family and society.
Women and children who are abused and need assistance can contact the ABH VJ Kara Family Centre on 031 404 9523.

*Annie is not her real name.

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Register at the ABH Learning Centre

The ABH Learning Centre opened in June 2009 and it is an integral part of the NPO. We believe that real progress can be made in addressing youth unemployment by providing training, experiential learning and job opportunities to unemployed young South Africans. The centre offers modern classrooms, offices, a skills laboratory and accommodates passionate students.

We encourage young people to register for our Ancillary Health Care Course. We have three annual intakes, in March, June and September. The full-time, one-year course is accredited by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) and is structured to develop a student’s career in healthcare.

The Ancillary Health Care course offers theoretical and practical training. Upon successful completion of the course, students can gain employment in private hospitals, old age homes, retirement homes and community care centres. Students can also become private carers and earn a competitive salary.

The entrance requirement for the course is Grade 10-12 or an equivalent certificate or an ABET Level 3 Qualification. We offer small, intimate classes within a nurturing and supportive tutorial system.

The top 10 students will be guaranteed placement and we will assist all students to find jobs after completion of training. Our next intake of students will commence their studies on 2 September 2019.

Fikile Mthethwa, a current student, said, “The full time course consists of 7 skills programmes which include numeracy skills, literacy skills, home-based care, HIV and AIDS, Community Development, Health and Safety and Personal Finance Management. I am passionate about studying the human body and I enjoy the theoretical and practical work because I can take the theory that I’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in the workplace. The course helps me develop relevant skills and I really look forward to being an asset to the healthcare sector”.

We appeal to corporates to sponsor students from disadvantaged backgrounds and earn BEE points. Skills Development is one of the most demanding Priority Elements on the B-BBEE Scorecard and learnerships account for more than 50% of the Skills Development points. The Ancillary Health Care Course meets all the requirements for companies to achieve the learnership points for BEE. With learnerships, companies can claim back on skills development spend; benefit from tax rebates and help unemployed people join the workforce.

Hospitals are also eligible to receive funding through the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA) when they upskill staff. As such, we encourage hospitals to register their staff for our Ancillary Health Care Course.

For more information about the ABH Learning Centre, phone 031 4049 523/4 or email

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