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UK Shibir 2014
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Dadashri: There are
four forms of charity: food (ahara-daan), medical care
(aushadha-daan), spiritual knowledge (Gnan daan)
and The State Of Absolute Non-Violence (abhaya-daan
- conduct that raises no fear in any living being).
Charity Of Food
First, comes the charity of food. When
someone comes to your door at noon and says, "Brother, please give
me something, I am hungry," you should reply by saying, "Please sit
down right here, and I will serve you food." This is charity of
food. Someone may interfere by telling you, 'if you feed
lunch this robust man, what about his dinner? God has said for one
not to interfere in such matters. Because
of your charity, that man will live
at least one more day. Tomorrow he will find someone else to
help him live. You do not have to worry about what will become of
him tomorrow or in the future. When
someone comes to your home, give whatever
you can. At least he will live
today, and that is what matters! Something else may be in
store for him tomorrow. There is no need for you to worry.
Questioner: Is charity of food considered the
Dadashri: It is considered good, but how much
can you give? People will not keep giving forever. It is enough to
feed someone just once. He will find his second meal somewhere
else, but today he lives because of that one meal! Nevertheless
when people give food, do they give fresh food or leftovers?
Questioner: They get rid of their leftovers.
What can they do if they cooked too much?
Dadashri: At least they are making good use of
it! When one gives freshly prepared food, then I will accept that
it is correct. Surely there must be some rules of the science of
the Enlightened Ones
(vitarag); it cannot be haphazard. Any other
time you can get away with it, but not here.
Charity of medicine (donation of
medicine, doctor's bills or other
medical help) is considered more valuable than charity of food. If a poor man falls ill and
cannot afford to buy medicine, you should either give him the money
to do so or go and buy the medicine for him. He may live a few more years because of
your charity. Charity of medicine is more beneficial than
charity of food. Do you understand which is better?
Questioner: Charity of medicine.
Dadashri: Charity of
medicine is considered more valuable than charity of food because it keeps a person
alive longer and gives him relief
from pain and suffering. Many of our women and children
regularly give charity of food and medicine. It does not cost too
much, but it should be done all the same. If a poor man comes to
your doorstep give him whatever is ready at the time.
Charity of Spiritual knowledge(Gnan
daan) Is More Valuable
Gnan daan is even more
valuable. Money donated towards books that guide people on the right path towards
their salvation is all 'gnan
daan.' By gnan daan one can progress to a
better life form in his next life or
can even attain liberation. God has
said that gnan daan is the most valuable and highest daan (that can be carried out by ordinary
people). Where money is not involved, He has talked about
abhaya daan. As far as money is concerned, he has said to
give gnan daan and those of ordinary means should give
charity of medicine and food.
Questioner: But if people have a surplus of
money, should they not make donations?
Dadashri: Giving of donations is the best. Give
to reduce people's misery and suffering and use the rest on a
constructive path of charity. Gnan daan is the charity
that leads people to the right path. That is the highest form of
charity in this world!
You benefit so much from this gnan (knowledge) by
understanding just this one sentence, so imagine how much more can
be gained if people were to read a whole book?
Questioner: Now I understand exactly.
Dadashri: Yes, those who have more money should
primarily do gnan daan.
But what kind of gnan
(knowledge) should it be? It should be the kind that will help
people of the world. The products of such charity are for the
salvation of the world, not for entertainment. People enjoy
reading books and fictions but it does not benefit them; on the
contrary they regress in their spirituality.
daan Is The Ultimate
Abhaya daan is where
one's conducts is such that he will not raise fear in any living
Questioner: Can you explain abhaya
daan some more?
daan means that you do not hurt any living being in the
slightest degree. Let me give you an example. When I was in
my twenties, I used to go to the movies. It would be midnight by
the time I would come home. Walking home, I would startle sleeping
dogs with my footsteps because I had metal studs on the soles of my
shoes. It occurred to me then, what kind of person I was to startle
the poor, sleeping dogs. After that I would remove my shoes each
time I walked past them. This is what I used to do even at that
young age. Don't you think the noise would startle the dogs?
Questioner: Yes and it would interrupt their
Dadashri: They used to get startled and
naturally they would bark. Would it not have been better to let
them sleep so that they would not disturb others as well ?
So, for abhaya daan, one should
first have the inner intention (bhaav) of not hurting any
living being, even in the slightest degree. Only then will this
come into practice. The Lord has called this the ultimate of all
charities. No money is involved in this charity. This is the
ultimate form of charity, yet people do not have the capacity for
it. Even those who have money cannot give this charity. Therefore
they should perform their charity with money.
The Lord has said there are no other forms of charity aside from
these four. People talk about other forms of charities, but they
are all imaginary. There are only these four. As much as possible,
your intention should be towards practicing abhaya
Bhaav = inner intent;
Gnan = Right (spiritual)
Gnan daan = charity of spiritual
Abhaya-daan= conduct that raises no fear
in any living being)
Reference: Book : Noble
use of Money (Page #7 Paragraph #6 ; Page #8 - #11 (Full Page) Page
#12 Paragraph #1)
What are the benefits of charity / donation?
What is relation between money and charity?
How much to donate to charity?
How to donate? How to charity?
Where to donate?
What is anonymous donations?
Why should one donate to temple?
Why should one donate to poor?
How to make good use of money?