What is Gupt Daan?
In India, there is something called as Gupt Daan, which means a secret gift. It is when you donate or give someone something without telling anyone that you are giving. You don’t want your name to be put on the name plate which says that so and so donated this. When you quietly give, it is called Gupt Daan.
It is often said, “When the right hand gives, the left hand should also not know.” This should be the intention behind donation. People used to take pride in this. You should also take pride in the same thing. At least some time or another, do some service for which you are not expecting any return or recognition. This act brings you so much joy. Once you get the taste of such purely service, you will find it so blissful, so interesting that you will want to go for it again and again. So, every now and then, do some service without wanting any recognition for it.
For the other things that you do, it is quite natural to want recognition. You do some good work in your office and you want recognition, there is nothing wrong in that. When you find real fulfillment in life, you feel so contented, then you don’t mind whether someone recognizes you or not. You keep doing what is good for you.
Why we must share
We must share what we have. When you give to those who are in need, the relief they experience brings you merits. If you wipe out suffering where ever you find it, you will earn good karma – sharing brings you merit. Do not think about your sins, keep on giving.
And the receiver should take it thinking that it is God who is giving them. If one takes something with a thought of returning it back, then it becomes a burden.
How to deal with those who beg
To make a profession out of begging is not a good thing. Sometimes, when certain people are able to make money without any effort, they continue begging. Why would they worry about changing that profession? Begging should not be promoted. Yes, if you find some old people or handicapped people, then you should help them, but those who are strong and fit and are begging on the streets, are often quite not in need! People who have strength, who can do something, they should not be given a single cent or single rupee.
Back in the time of Buddha or Krishna, it was a different thing altogether. In those days, begging was done by students who would beg for food, or monks who were busy working for society the whole day and would go and beg for food. They needed very little food and would go to peoples’ houses and eat. In those days, people would feed the monks as they were doing good work for the society. Our scriptures also say that one should donate only to the deserving. Give onto to those who deserve what you are giving.
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The Best Form of Donation
"It is important donate to people who need it, not to those who don’t need it. If you donate a cow to a poor man who can’t feed himself, how will he feed the cow?"
In this article,
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talks about donation and further explains the best form of donation one could give.