No charity in Hinduism

Charity as defined is helping people in need. In both Christianity and in Islam Charity plays an important role in religious activity. As India was ruled by Muslims and Christians the Hinduism underwent some changes this practice of charity was incorporated by many in practice. We see daily media carping over lack of corporate benevolence towards society. This is not a Hindu concept as explained below.
Charity can be towards needy people or a social obligation. Many organizations encourage their employees to jointly do charity at the time of calamity or to orphanages etc. let us see how Hinduism looks into these aspects. No charity in Hinduism will be surprising to many as Hinduism is resplendent with stories of Dhan (दान =charity). But on closer look it will be noticed that in all these stories the person receiving the charity is mostly Brahmin. Why? Because Brahmins are supposed to work on theoretical science whose benefactor will be the society. For example if Einstein works for20 years and says E =MC2 then who is going to feed him. Actually poor Einstein was working in Insurance company as clerk. Same with Ramanujan the mathematician he was working in port as clerk.
Hence Hinduism encouraged charity to Brahmins. But this is no more relevant today. So why not follow Christian concept of charity. There is difference. In Hinduism while charity is made to Brahmins it is done with humility and respect to the recipient. For example during puja we hear ‘Indraya idham nama indraya swaha’ I use to think it means ‘Respects to Indra and offerings to Indra’ (इन्द्राय इदम् नमम इन्द्राय स्वाः) No it means “This belongs to Indra Not Mine then offerings to Indra” So In Hinduism you give by saying this belongs to you. And specifically not mine. This is very important as otherwise your Ego gets blasted as a donor to needy recipient. This is not accepted in Hinduism. Read Vivekananda Bhakthi Marga where he says the only needy person in the world is oneself. Nobody is dependent on us. This is an important difference between Hinduism concept of Charity and other religion.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wattnitosoark
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 21:09:42

    Sorry for the stupid question. What is the best search engine or


  2. mghariharan
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 15:31:49

    Google ofcourse


  3. Hardik
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 09:00:54

    Who is “Brahmins” ?


    • mghariharan
      Feb 03, 2011 @ 10:02:26

      The Brahmins wear sacred thread. The sacred thread says it all. The Universe consists of 3 state which originate from Brahman- which has no beginning and end. If you see the sacred thread you will find the Brahma knot which has no beginning or end. A person who goes in search of Brahman is known as Brahmin.


  4. saurav
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 02:50:04

    There is a difference in Hinduism and monotheistic religions on the question of Charity……..In Hinduism there is no explicit mention of the word of charity but in Islam and christianity word Charity is explicitly mentioned.

    I will explain:

    In Hinduism the concept of charity is very simple and it is best explained by the Bhagavad Geeta which says – Give up all material desires and do Yoga in devotion to the supreme soul Krishna. So when I keep this in my mind I know that money or material things are not importent to me. So if anyone comes and asks me anything I never feel a single mm of hesitation in giving whatever I have because I know all these things are useless.
    2nd in Geeta it is mentioned that one who works only for himself or cooks food only for himself is a sinner and will goto hell. One who lives only for the benefit of other human beings is a good human being.

    In Islam the word Charity is used as one of the 5 pillers of Islam But in Christianity it is that the word Charity is maximum used. There are missionaries of charity who even do conversions to Christianity in the name of charity…….

    My opinion is that the use of word Charity itself is wrong….Charity by itself creates a sense of superiority in the giver and a sense of servility and inferiority in the asker……..This contradicts the basic rule that all Souls are basically good………….And christianity uses the Charity to propagate is very wrong and immoral.

    If you are giving charity I feel Just give it without propagating it or taking it on behalf of your name…That is selfishnesss
    There are plenty of verses in Vedas,


    • mghariharan
      Feb 04, 2011 @ 09:22:20

      Your last 2 paragraphs sums it up. Charity blasts your ego. so while giving always give respectfully and with humility. Thanks for more elaborate apraisal of charity in 3 main religions


  5. saurav
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 02:56:35

    I think the basic concept of Hinduism goes against the principle of charity because the main goal of Hinduism is for the Man in material body to achieve the highest state of perfection either in guidence of a guru or by self…….Even attempting to achieve this state is good enough to earn respect of God.


    Mar 21, 2011 @ 12:24:33

    Hinduism strongly support the charity. Each and every attitude in the life of hinduism is based on charity.

    A hindu is doing every thing, not only for his/her betterment. This is for universe, not only for human beings, for all the living beings including animals, plants, earth, fire, water, space and air.

    Be proud to be a hindu


  7. t
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 19:16:01

    In Hinduism, the person who is actually performing the charity is considered to be the one being obliged–the receiver is obliging the giver. Also, the receiver of charity must have the requisite tapa for the charity not to adversely affect him. Since it was Brahmins who were supposed to engage in spiritual practices, it was they who received charity–the concept of “Daan-Dakshina” supports this- the giver first gives ‘daan’, and then he gives the receiver ‘dakshina’ as fee or as a token of gratitude for actually having accepted his ‘daan’.


    • mghariharan
      Apr 27, 2011 @ 19:54:32

      Yes you are right. it is incidental that the brahmins are performing religious activities. They were required to do research and come with theoretical break out ideas. That is what best of brahmins do. But there is always a bell curve. and there sre good brahmins and bad ones. We normally come across bad ones who are cheep and easily available. If we are serious then we should go in search of good ones and do charity and reward them


  8. Dota
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 14:13:09

    I think you people misunderstand charity. In both the bible and Quran the ”left hand must not know what the right hand is doing’.” This means that charity is never done for show, but done privately so that society benefits and ego issues are kept in check. Charity is the vehicle of social justice. Social justice maintains that all humans are equal in worth (if not status) and hence harmony can only be attained when economic egalitarianism prevails. This is where charity comes in handy. Since Hinduism sanctions inequality via caste, the very concept of social justice in India is redundant and hence there is no need for charity.

    Also Hinduism seems to be quite indifferent towards human suffering. Misfortune is calmly rationalized as karma and no attempt is made to correct social and economic imbalances in society. Furthermore, since Hinduism seems not to hold humanity in as high a standing as Islam and Christianity, Hindus have never engaged their religious traditions (until very recently) in the way Muslims and Christians have. The Mutazilite Muslim philosophers challenged the corruption of the Ummayad dynasty in the 7th century while Europeans have always challenged the catholic church and held it to a high standard. Hindus by contrast have never engaged the caste system and have never asked the crucial question: Why do we put up with this?


    • mghariharan
      Sep 17, 2011 @ 17:00:59

      Most of the words you have used are Political and it needs to be defined. Like say ‘Human sufferin’. Who is indifferent? How can an individual address human suffering. These words are used by Capitalists to cover their role in society. They actually fleece the society and make money and cover it up with such words. When economic egalitarianism prevails! What is that. How can in a competitive society. Where money produces money economic egalitarianism prevail. What is happening in England is the misunderstanding of these words and young generation things that society owes them everything and they need to do nothing. A victim of propaganda. Now they thing they even have the right to burn all shops and financial institutions because their umeployment bata is being reduced. These are just high sounding words which will lead to anarchism.


    • mghariharan
      Sep 17, 2011 @ 17:05:27

      There is nothing wrong with caste system the British Used it to divide and rule India. Nobody is an underdog in Hinduism and if there are any it is the brahmins who are supposed to live by begging and pursue knowledge ‘apara vidya’ non worldly knowledge. Both in Ramayana and Mahabharata Brahmins have been insulted


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