Random Musings- Part 36- Notes on “dAnam/charity”

Nithin Sridhar

1. Steya or taking what is not yours is one of the sin or adharma.

2. The Pandava brothers died during Yaksha episode as a result of Steya.

3. The Hindu scriptures advice Dana or charity as a prescription against Steya.

4. Danam can be of many types- Go-danam, Anna-danam, Kanya-danam, Vidya-danam etc.

5. The charity of cash and kind like that of cattle, gold etc. is the easiest.

6.Better than danam of cash or kind is the Anna-danam- charity of food,coz it feeds needy & helps him survive.

7. As food is a manifestation of Brahman itself & provides life, Anna-danam is auspiscious.

8. Better than Anna-danam is Kanya-Danam- the gift of daughter in marriage.

9. This is because,a daughter is center of family & nourishes them. She is instrumental in carrying out the lineage.

10. As Women completes her husband, nourishes family & elevates entire society, Kanya-danam is auspicious.

11. Better than Kanya-danam is Vidya-danam- the gift of knowledge.

12. Vidya or Knowledge not only elevates the society but also lights the Individual.

13. Vidya leads to right action & imparts material & spiritual upliftment.

14.Through Vidya alone one pursues dharma,artha,kama & moksha.Hence Vidyadanam is auspicious.

15. Better than Vidyadanam is Jnana-danam- gift of Self-Realization. This is the Highest.

16.Nothing is greater than moksha.Hence,gift of Atma-Jnana, that a Guru imparts his student is most auspicious.

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