Different Types of Charity(Dharma, Dhanam) in Hinduism

Adi Sankaracharya in his stothram praising Annapurna, the personification of plentiful food,

says:

AnnapurnesadapurneSankaraPranavallabhegyanavairagyasiddhyarthambhikshamdehicaParvati

Goddess of Plenty, Annapurna Devi, you are Lord Shiva’s eternal Consort, give us alms together with wisdom.’

The Annadaanam has gained its own importance mainly because; humans can be satisfied only in this. Also, this dhaanam specifies the significance of hunger and poverty.

Gajaturaga Sahasram | Gokulamkotidanam | Kanaka Rajathapatram | Methinisagarantham | Upayakulavishuttam | Kotikanyapradanam | Nahinahibahudanam | Annadanamsamanam

Meaning: Even if one gifts 1000 horses,  elephants or gifts 1 crores cows or any number of gold and silver, gifts the entire Land till sea, offering the entire services of the clan, helps in the marriage of 1 crores women, all this is never never equal to Annadhaanam (Poor Feeding)

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The higher than explicit sloka has over lighted, however why??? simply to show the minds towards the annadhana, it’s been aforesaid like this.

The same musician in a very song can say no god is there higher than Parvathi, within the terribly next song he can say constant to Hindu deity. We should not get confused because of these slokas and carry on with our Dhaanams that are helpful to the society. It doesn’t mean that other dhaanas are cheap. But it insists us to do annadhanam.

When decided to give something, then why should there be classifications and gradations??? If our neighbour came to our house and ate one day, and similarly, our brother came to your house and ate one day. Will these be considered as annadhana??? (Certainly no; because, they are all not come under the “dhaana” category, as one other day we also will go and eat in their home). Similarly, the rich person’s does not need our annadhana also. But we know, even some millionaires have eaten like beggars in temples as a “Prarthana”. Also there is nothing wrong that we can donate the same to Orphanages, old age homes etc. or even some beggars in the street.

In Tamil there is a proverb saying, “Vaai Vaazhthaavitalum Vayiru Vaazhthum”. (Even if the mouth which eats doesn’t bless you, the Stomach which digests will surely remember you) and by doing this, will certainly bring calm and steadiness in your mind.

The Sanskrit word Annadanam literally means the offering or sharing (Danam) of food (Annam).In sanskrit the word “Annam” means food and “Daanam” means to donate. Thus “Annadanam” means feeding the hungry and needy. Taittiriya religious writing declares, All elan vital comes from food. (Annamvaipranah) and Let food be produced in plenty (Annambahukurveet). In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna declares, From food all beings are evolved (Annadbhavantibhutani).Even in Vedas, Upanishad, Ramayana, or Mahabharata during all these periods feeding a hungry person was treated as a greatest service to man kind. ANNA DAANAM MAHAA DAANAM [offering food is the best DAANAM in the world] is a very popular Sanskrit verse which has motivated millions of Indians to perform this divine act and in ancient Asian country in most of the temple premises there have been annadana centers

Annam Para Brahma Swarupam. Food solely will support the body to achieve Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. The person, who participate in this sacred “Annadanam”, will be blessed by divine Gods. Creatures cannot live without food, hence the donors of Annadanam are also considered as donors of pranadanam. Pranadanam means to offer all things as donation, accordingly they are blessed. Annadanam is a sacred activity. It is said that the sacred works done by the people with the energy acquired by food bestows half of its effect to the donor of food and the rest is to that person. Many positive results like this may acquire from the Annadanam.

Deserving poor could also be offered food with none motive. there’s news that some noble persons in down South – Thirunelveli and Madurai giving free food for mentally challenged persons while not expecting any reward, a real Dhaanam to its that means.

Some of the Dhaanam’s practiced and followed by are as follows:

JALA DAANAM

 This form of charity involves giving water with betel nut and dakshina to a Brahmin, and it is done for wealth.

SHAYANA DAANAM

 Giving bed to a needy is done for general happiness.

VASTHRA DAANAM

  Giving clothes to needy will ensure a long life to the giver.

KUMKUM DAANAM

When a woman donates kumkum, she ensures a long life for her husband.

CHANDANA DAANAM

 Donating sandalwood will prevent accidents.

NAARIKELA DAANAM

Donating coconuts can make sure that the last seven generations attain salvation.

BUTTERMILK DAANAM

Donating milk can provide you with knowledge’s and enlightenment.

PADARAKSHA

Donating slippers to the requirement can keep the giver removed from hell.

CHATRA DAANAM

 Donating umbrellas on the other hand will help remove obstacles from the giver’s path.

Blood Donation

Blood Donation is noble act, but it should be done without any reward.

Vidya donation

Vidya donation to AN ignorant is noble provided it’s steer clear off any reward.

 

The Health edges you may Receive by Donating to Charity.

Improved Self-Esteem & Self-Worth Are Health Benefits of Charitable Giving.

Positive Moods and Low Depression Rates Due to The Psychology of Generosity.

Longer Life Expectancy Is a Result of The Psychology of Giving to Therapy.

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Importance of doing charity on Tuesdays

  • Tuesdays are meant for the planet ‘ANGARAGAN’ , donations if done on Tuesdays will remove the evil effects of those who are suffering from (Chevvai) Angara Dosha.
  • Tuesdays are meant for Amman and Murugan worship also. Any charity made on Tuesdays will bring happiness in the life of the donor and Amman’s and Murugan’s blessings also will be there.
  • Tuesdays are very auspicious days. Many people observe fasting and will do charity by giving food and clothes to the poor on Tuesdays.
  • Any charity if done on Tuesdays, will be give more benefit to the donor, than on any other days.
  • Those who born on Tuesdays and who do charity continuously on Tuesdays will never take rebirth again in this world as per the verses of Hindu Puranas.
  • Any person who prefers a better job, and if he does any charity on Tuesdays, he will get immediate change in his life and his wishes will be fulfilled.
  • Charity if done on Tuesdays, will bring health, wealth and better prospects in the donor’s life.

 CONCLUSION:-

In general, doing charity on all the days in a week  is important. Particularly, if a person does any charity on Tuesdays, it will yield better results in his life. Hence we have to do charity on all the seven days in a week as per our financial background. If we give more donation on Tuesdays, than on any other day in a week, we will be blessed by the divine devas from the heavens.

By R.HARISHANKAR

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