Hindu Sanatan Dharma revolves around donations and the merits associated with giving something to the poor and needy. It is a sacred Hindu tradition to give away something from time to time. This tradition is prevalent even in the modern world and many charitable institutions and individuals offering money, clothing, and food to Brahmins and other needy in society. Life would just not be complete without making donations, even in a limited manner. Those who cannot afford to give money can donate whatever they can part with. This simple gesture of kindness brings immense spiritual benefits and wipe out accumulated sins and bad karma.
The act of making donations has no barriers and is prevalent in other religions too. This is widely practiced as a custom across the globe, wherever humanity exists. After all, it is only when wealth is shared that life takes on meaning. Leading businessmen and entrepreneurs create charitable foundations to disburse their wealth among the poorer sections of society. It is only when we give that we receive. However, giving something without any expectations of payback is all the more meritorious, as there are no reservations or conditions involved.
Thus, donations have assumed vast importance in Astrology as a means of overcoming doshas and other malefic effects in the horoscope. This simple act alone can wipe out a thousand sins. Service to humanity and other living creatures is widely preached as a means of attaining salvation and ascending to Gods abode. Many habitual sinners, thieves, and antisocials have been forgiven even by an involuntary gesture of donating something.
How wonderful would the world be if everyone shared their wealth and belongings with others? This would create a utopian existence and heaven would ascend to earth. Even the Gods above would be astounded and pleased with human beings and maybe grant them peace and eternal bliss. So, why should not everybody practice this virtuous act and achieve moksha right here on earth itself?
Ancient Hindu scriptures speak extensively about the sacrifices made by Raja Harischandra and Mahabali, who were tested to the maximum by the Gods. Even though they could have reneged on their promise, upon the advice of their patron saints, refused to do so, and honored their commitments to the fullest.
Making donations on particular days as advised by Astrologers, can lead to the individual reaping a rich harvest of joy and happiness in this world itself, ensuring direct access to heaven. Astrologers can tell us what to give, when to give, and to whom to give, to acquire maximum benefit for us and future generations. Thus, donations are prescribed as a popular and common remedy for most problems in life. The merits of donating cannot be calculated on a human scale, but are tremendous on the spiritual level.
Every human on the planet knows that donating essential itens, money and food grains is the basic premise of life. One need not stress about the quantum of donation, but give only what they can afford. Many people even scroung on their basic needs and make it a point to give something at least to those who do not get even a single meal in day. In this way, wastage and excessive consumption can be controlled, opening the floodgates to a generous and benevolent society.
A collective effort to make a vow to put aside at least a tiny portion of our income is the need of the hour. Cutting down on wastage and unnecessary expenses would make a significant difference towards reducing poverty and putting a meal in the stomach of the starving. We need to keep in mind that all of us are born equal and deserve to eat at least enough for sustenance. Though there is inequality in the world, we should remember that the almighty gave us life as with the power to think. That is the wonder of God and we should try to return the favor, in any way possible.
However, the best way of donating, is not to expect anything in return, as Bhagwan Shri Krishna explains in the Bhagwad Gita. He is the ultimate God of things and we should not do anything with an ulterior motive in mind, but give selflessly. Only then we are assured of entering the divine portals of heaven to merge with the Supreme Being.
Let us all take a pledge to donate something at least in any possible way we can, even if it is tiny bit. Remember, this small act of donation can make a vast difference to a hungry person.
Some of the benefits of charity are:
Leaves an inner glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Donation is a morale booster.
Makes a significant impact to the giver and receiver.
Creates communal harmony and wellbeing.
More and more people will be influenced to give.
Strengthens bond between people and different communities.
Does away with selfishness.
Nudges us towards the path of enlightenment.
Feeling of oneness with the Almighty.