Take Only What You Need

Chapter III, Verse 13

Sri Nerode’s Translation:


The righteous ones who eat a balance of food, sharing with others, are free of sins. But the impious who dress just for their own sake, they verily eat sin. (Righteous people share blessings with others. The selfish live in the mire of their selfishness.)

Helpful Translation:

The illusion of human existence is a communal illusion. Those who perform their duty and only take what they need are released from the binding qualities of the material universe. The ones who take more than they need, become more bound to the world and their personal misery increases.


Serve others first and be less concerned about personal needs. Every action, including selfishness, produces its own result.

Those who seek liberation from the restraints of a worldly life practice magnanimous behaviors. Those who believe “this is it” and catch hold of every little drip of life like it is their last, practice selfishness and lack consideration of others.

With the great access to information (and ignorance) that the Internet provides, it seems possible to find an example of every human experience. So, I speak only from my own past when I say that I have repeatedly seen selfish people fail (usually through poor health) while generous people rarely lack for their needs.

The perspective of most individuals is too narrow to see the long-term outcomes of many of their actions. That is why the wise have counseled similar moral behaviors down through ages and across every religion, culture, race and ethnicity. The practice of setting aside a portion of one’s wealth for others is common to all religions and a requirement of all governments. Communal life requires that each member give whatever she or he might offer to help the entire group succeed.

Easter Eggs:

Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:

Nothing additional to note intuitively or literally at this time.

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Ancient History

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