Many people in the world today are charitable; they like to help the poor. But wherever they help the poor they want a nice plank with their name on it. They want their names in the newspapers for all that they have done. They want their family, friends and others to recognize what benevolent, compassionate and merciful people they are. They also want tax benefits from the Government. They want so many fringe benefits for their charity. Therefore they are not unmotivated; they are motivated with selfish interests.
Sometimes, if you feed the mouth of a poor person your real motive is to feed the mouth of your own false ego thinking, ‘Just see! I am sustaining and maintaining other people’s life. Everyone should see this. I am setting the example for the world to follow. Follow me.’ That is not real charity.
By Radhanath Swami