Offering donations


Beyond your specific question, I want to say something about the concept of danam, giving charity.

The desire of offering charity, or to donate something to others is a very good sentiment.
In his Upadesamrita (Nectar of Instruction) Srila Rupa Gosvami says:
dadāti pratigṛhṇāti
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam”
“Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.”

In the Bhagavad-gita (16th chapter) Sri Krishna says that danam, charity, reveals that the person has spiritual quality.
bhavanti sampadaṁ daivīm
abhijātasya bhārata.
In the same chapter the Lord makes a distinction between different types of charity, those in goodness, in passion and in ignorance. You may want to read that chapter. It’s very informative.

There are also other aspects that may not be purely transcendental but that are anyway part of our culture.
Just to make an example, it would be good if you make sure that your father is happy with the use of the money he is giving you. In the past we had many instances of parent getting upset with us for the use their sons and daughters did with the money they gave them. They thought that we brainwashed them to get their money.

Another aspect I witnessed in my life is that sometimes the devotees, out of good sentiments, give away all the money they have and then they find themselves poverty stricken and repents having given it away. Not long ago a devotee came to me complaining to have donated the money to a temple and now, with old age arriving, they are not even treating her nicely.

You have to make sure that you are financially safe. Even Srila Rupa Gosvami, who was a renunciant living under trees, donated only 50% of his wealth.
Also make sure that the receiver of your charity is worthy, that he/they are going to use your money for pure devotional service.

If you do that in this way, yes, he is going to have spiritual benefits.


– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
21 jan 2020


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