दातव्यमिति यद्दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे |
देशे काले च पात्रे च तद्दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम् || 20||
dātavyam iti yad dānaṁ dīyate ‘nupakāriṇe
deśhe kāle cha pātre cha tad dānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛitam
dātavyam—worthy of charity; iti—thus; yat—which; dānam—charity; dīyate—is given; anupakāriṇe—to one who cannot give in return; deśhe—in the proper place; kāle—at the proper time; cha—and; pātre—to a worthy person; cha—and; tat—that; dānam—charity; sāttvikam—in the mode of goodness; smṛitam—is stated to be
That gift which is made to one who can make no return, and with the feeling that it is one’s duty to give, and which is given at the right place and time and to a worthy person— such a gift is held to be of the nature of sattva.
Datavyam iti – Every man should offer charity as a sacred duty, and not for gaining honour and fame in the world. “It is my duty to offer this gift to this man, and therefore I am giving it” – such should be the spirit behind all acts of a beneficent nature. In truth, whatever good we do to others, whatever sacrifice we make for the sake of others, is a good done unto one’s own self. So, when we help poor and needy people, let us remember that we are not supporting them, for, the Lord is the support to all, but adding to the pile of our to own righteousness which will greatly advance our own spiritual aim.
Anupakarine: Charity offered to persons from whom no return benefit is expected, is the highest. The utterly poor, the blind, the lame, the disease, the neglected are fit subjects of charity. It is done out of sheer compassion, and such feelings soften the heart and enable men to understand the secret of oneness of all beings. Gifts offered to the rich and powerful are vitiated by the secret motive of receiving some benefit from them in due time. Hence it is not an act of spiritual merit.
Dese: Gifts offered in holy places, temples and hermitages are the best. ‘Kale’ -charity given on auspicious and sacred occasions like the eclipse (grahanam) Sankranti, or one’s own birthday, or anniversary of elders, is the best.
Patre: The recipient of charity should be fit and worthy to receive it. The hungry man at the door is the fittest person for ‘annadana’. So the giver should consider the time, place, and the person when he offers charity, and he should give it without expecting anything in return.
Question: What is Sattvic Charity?
Answer: 1. It should be decided upon after due consideration 2. It should be offered to persons from whom no return is expected. 3. It should be in conformity with time, place and the fitness of the recipient.