Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Types of Charity : Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik

While writing the previous post about charity, I remembered that like the 3 classifications for food, Vedic literature also classifies 'charity' into 3 classes. I asked my father and he immediately recited the Sanskrit shlokams (verses) for me and explained their meaning. They can be found in the 17th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

datavyam iti yad danam
diyate 'nupakarine
dese kale ca patre ca
tad danam sattvikam smrtam

( Charity given to a deserving person, at the proper time and place, without expectations of any return is considered to be Satvik (virtuous) form of charity).

yat tu pratyupakarartham
phalam uddisya va punah
diyate ca pariklistam
tad danam rajasam smrtam

( Charity performed with the expectation of some return, or the desire for some results, or charity done begrudgingly or for pomp and show is considered to be Rajasik (materialistic/egotistic) form of charity).

adesa-kale yad danam
apatrebhyas ca diyate
asat-krtam avajnatam
tat tamasam udahrtam

( Charity performed at an improper place or time and given to unworthy persons, or charity given without respect or with contempt is considered to be Tamasic (ignorance/darkness) form of charity. Charity that promotes indulgences in intoxication and gambling fall in this category).

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