"Your mind has enormous hidden dimensions. Open yourselves completely to whatever reactions and emotions the world evokes from time to time. Accept them all without any reservation or resentment. By assimilating everything and all, your mind grows deeper, stabler and more enriched."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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You give something to the people outside the orbit of blood and matrimonial relationships and as you give, the recipient receives it. While you are giving and you have the benefit of having done dana, it is a blessing, enrichment and empowerment for you. The receiver gets the material benefits. Whatever materials you give, he receives them and uses them. While the receiver gets the material items given, the giver gets the inner spiritual benefits, blessings and enrichment. And both of them are equally contented and delighted.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

I was speaking about Yajna, Dana and Tapas as the three important ingredients of a good, moral and ethical human life. I said that Yajna is something that you do as an offering to God. Maybe I will speak about it later. Dana is not something like that. While offering Yajna, you are the offerer. The one to whom it is offered is God. And God is always invisible and at an infinite distance. So it becomes a unilateral action from your side. But in the case of dana, it is not so. You give something to the people outside the orbit of blood and matrimonial relationships and as you give, the recipient receives it. While you are giving and you have the benefit of having done dana, it is a blessing, enrichment and empowerment for you. The receiver gets the material benefits. Whatever materials you give, he receives them and uses them.

While the receiver gets the material items given, the giver gets the inner spiritual benefits, blessings and enrichment. And both of them are equally contented and delighted. When you nicely, lovingly and feeling-fully give, that feeling-full giving gives you a lot of rejoicing and contentment. And when somebody takes it with a smiling face, you also have the joy of delighting his heart. You get the delight of giving and you see the delight of somebody receiving what you give. So it is delighting oneself and also the others. Is this the only benefit of dana, if you ask, our culture does not stop there. It has something more to say. And you should understand that these are all written as part of our religio-spiritual literature and instruction.

Everybody lives in this world with a societal connection and bond. A child is born in a family as a member of the family. The family consisting of a few individuals becomes a member of a societal segment. So many segments together become the society at large, the nation. And so many nations put together make the global community or life. So you cannot think of an individual without his connection with the family and, through the family, to the society, the nation and globe.

I always say that you have a house and a little property surrounding, land. A deed-of-registration is made and then you seem to be the owner of that land. Very good! Where is this land located? Upon the earth! Is the earth yours? Certainly not! The moment you step out of your house, where do you place your feet, either on the footpath or on the road. Both of these do not belong to you. They belong to the society. Normally the government owns it. What does it mean? Every item required for your life in the form of food, clothing and other things, all of them you are not making, the individual is not making. All these items are manufactured or grown in different areas by different people.

The air you breathe, nobody produces. The water you drink, that is also available. But if you go into details for digging a well, somebody else will have to come and dig. And somebody will have to draw water. If there is a public water system, then you owe the entire water to the distribution people. So air is available. Food is grown by different people in different places. So for the whole sustenance of your life, you should understand that you are connected to and depending upon a number of sources other than you.

If you buy articles from the shop, how did it come to the shop, from where it is manufactured or grown? So there are people involved in trade, they bring the materials, make them available to you from a particular public spot. So everywhere you will find you are connected to the society. Not only that, any form of money or wealth, I think, the wealth owner owes it to the society. Ultimately, goods are manufactured or grown upon the earth by the people. Then whatever is there is purchased from the people. Imagine a doctor, he has very good practice, roaring practice, and he is a wealthy doctor. How does he get his wealth? Because people come, take his treatment and whatever fees he stipulates, he pays them, people pay them. What does it mean? His wealth is owing to the people. Similarly, imagine the greatest people like Henry Ford, Tata or others, all their goods are availed of by the people, and they pay for it. Imagine the channel. The money they get from the channel viewers in one manner or the other. Everywhere, you will find society produces goods and services. The society also avails of them and pays for them.

So every single penny that an individual owns, it is actually owing to the society. Apart from your own personal life and domestic life, there are a number of social amenities which are generally made available to you. The government makes many of them. And for the government to make them, they force a tax system and you have to pay your tax at source when you earn the money. But whatever the government makes in the form of facilities, are again availed of by you as a beneficiary. So the tax system itself comes out of a principle of dana. But there it does not work as a dana. It is legally levied from you and you cannot escape it. If you escape, you become a criminal and you will be punished in one way or the other.

But the Dana that I am referring to, our Sastras refer to, it is something different. You feel that there are many others who are denied parallel benefits which you have. They have a need. It may not always be the acclaimed poor. Maybe somebody in the society who wants to educate the child, conduct the marriage of the child, they don’t have resources, I think you should help them. Marriage is a social necessity. It is not an individual or a family necessity. People should get married, then only our vamsa, our lineage, will survive. The human lineage as a whole, will survive. And when you make such dana, our sastras specifically says that only by doing this dana, whatever wealth you have will acquire the necessary purity.

What is meant by purity? Whatever wealth you have, it will be used by somebody, primarily by your family members. If you have enough, you give it in the form of patrimony and the descendants use it. So you may give, you may be able to give material wealth, bequeath to the children, but can you bequeath good sense, good sense, enough of control, moderation, morality, virtue etc. to the children so that they will utilize the wealth and spend it properly? That becomes a providential factor. You can write a will and give the whole of property to your children. That is possible, but in the same manner, is it possible for you to bequeath character coordinate to the children? No!

So our sastras say, only by doing liberal dana, the wealth that one has will be purified. Only when it is purified, as it becomes a bequest for the others, inheritance for the others, there will also be the necessary moral or ethical bequest given by you, heredity taken by them. So this is an invisible, religious or spiritual factor. So be very sure that whatever money you have, whether it is big or small, in the form of gold, silver, land, money deposits or anything else, unless it is purified, the beneficiaries will not be able to use it properly. Maybe they will spend it wrongly, become bad, immoral etc. even they will become a bane to the society. To avoid all these things and make the wealth sattvik and pure, so that those people who utilize the wealth will not become corrupt, they will not degenerate while using it, this dana is very, very important.

Wealth not purified by dana is just like keeping a wife who is not chaste. It is just like keeping children who do not obey you and are not helpful to you. It is just like keeping cows which do not lactate at all. There is a Sanskrit verse explaining this.

Vittaṁ tv-atīrthī-kṛtam
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.11.19)

The वित्त should be purified and purification of the wealth takes place only by dana. It is in this context that we conduct the Annavastra-Dana-Satram. This is the twenty-seventh year. The preliminary work of sending letters has started. Our idea is to institute this culture, the moral and ethical coordinate of human life to see that it is perpetuated and only strengthened, it does not die down. So we are conducting it in a collective manner. Many people contribute to it, subscribe to it and we organize it in a nice manner and with the accompaniment of the Nama-Sankeertana, the whole function is done. It is very sublime and many people feel, apart from getting the materials given, they feel immensely blessed also.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.