Charity: To Whom, Where, and What to Give.
Happiness is a feeling that is inherent in us, it is part of our nature. The desire to share happiness is a great driving force that encourages us to make donations. According to the Vedic scriptures, it is necessary to participate in charity. However, we need to observe certain rules, because everything around us is subordinated to the Universal laws. If we study these laws and follow them, our life becomes more conscious and happier.
What can be considered a donation?
– Knowledge that we have and that we want to share;
– Energy and effort (in the form of physical, moral, or emotional help);
– Food (the best option is vegetarian food that was offered to God first);
– Money (in many cultures there is the notion of donating “tithes” – 10% of the amount of income for the month. Of course, the amount may increase or decrease depending on the circumstances or personal motives;
– Personal time to help others.
To whom is it auspicious to give donations?
To priests, brahmanas, sages, holy people, monks.
The benefactor always receives in return as much good as there is piety in the person to whom the donation was made.
What place is preferable to donate at?
In temples – for construction and maintenance;
On the development of spiritual and educational projects;
Orphanages; sick people, people with disabilities; old people, as well as elderly people living in nursing homes;
Charities, which we trust and whose activities are beyond doubt;
Donations are not favorable to do in public places: markets, train stations, in the subway. Sometimes those who ask for alms in such places cause us to feel pity or guilt. However, we must remember that a donation of pity has nothing to do with donating from feelings of compassion or duty. A donation in a temple has a favorable nature, it also elevates the one who makes the donation and the one who accepts it, strengthening faith in God.
What time is the most favorable for a donation?
Days of great religious holidays.
Days of the appearance and departure of holy people.
The new moon.
Days of the equinox.
Days of the beginning of an important business and at the time of its completion.
During important events in our personal life: birthday, wedding, the birth of a child.
On Ekadasi days (See Ekadasi)
Do not forget that the donation is not only money, but also prayer, time spent, caring, kind thoughts and words.
The three modes of material nature (see The three gunas)
Donations are divided into three categories, corresponding to the modes of material nature. There are donations in goodness; donations in passion; and donations in ignorance. How do they differ?
One who makes a donation in goodness is not looking for personal benefit. His action is filled with love and is made from a sense of duty and compassion. The main goal of it is to bring good, without demanding anything in return. This kind of charity gives us the opportunity to change our destiny for the better, cleanse the heart, diminish bad karma and develop the mind. By making donations in goodness, we become a vehicle of Divine energy.
A donation in passion carries a message of pride for the deed, the praise of oneself. One wants others to notice their generosity. The Vedas say that according to the universal law, such a donation will be returned to the giver in the same proportion: if it is money, then they will receive money, if it is food, then they will not be hungry, if clothes, there will be no scaracy of clothes for them. However a donating in passion is unlikely to change their fate for the better. It can even bring tension from the expectation of a reciprocal good and frustration, if it does not work the way it was expected to.
A donation in ignorance is made at the wrong time, to the wrong person, at the wrong place and with wrong motives. Such charity does not bear any positive results at all. Most often it is done thoughtlessly and leads to degradation of both the giver and receiver.
What to give?
First of all, we must try to determine the guna of the person to whom we are contributing.
To someone in the mode of ignorance it is best to give food that was offered to God, clothing, some help, but not money, because money is most likely to be spent not for good purposes.
To persons in the mode of passion, it is also better not to donate money, but to offer some food, clothes, and knowledge that could be useful for them.
For a person in the mode of goodness, any type of donation will work.
The favorable power of donating is that people do not always get what they think they need, but always what they really most need at the moment.
There are several rules for doing charity work:
You always need to donate with gratitude and respect. It is necessary to thank the one who accepts the donation and to bow down (at least in thoughts).
Donations make our hearts softer, helping to develop a sense of compassion, improve our karma, bestow prosperity, teach nobility and generosity, care for those who need help and protection. If we do good deeds in accordance with the universal laws, then they will bring us benefit, joy, and happiness.
TODAY’S TIP: It is important to know that we are responsible for the charity we have done. For example, if we, even unknowingly, donated money to projects that have caused harm, we also become complicit in such projects. It must be remembered that mindfulness, consciousness, and reasonableness are important components of charitable affairs.