Charity is not just an activity but also a mentality

Charity is usually thought of as an activity, the action of contributing to some worthy cause.

But the Bhagavad-gita (16.01) lists charity as a quality. Why?

Because for the godly who are described in this section of the Gita, charity is much more than an activity – it is a mentality, an inner disposition that expresses itself in regular charitable activity. When the godly give gifts to others, especially to Krishna in a devotional mood, internally they give themselves the best gift: the opportunity to relish the joy of selfless sacrifice and thereby progress towards developing divine selflessness, selflessness in the service of the divine.

Those who consider charity to be merely an activity focus not on the inner spirit but the other show. They obsess over how big and noticeable is the charity they give, and how much recognition and glorification they get. Such charity is nothing but a gift to one’s own ego – it is a characteristic of the ungodly, as the Bhagavad-gita (16.15) indicates.

Moreover, obsession with externals restricts the charity of the self-centered to those occasions when they can give a lot and thereby gain a lot of glory. Such occasional charity doesn’t foster the spirit of giving and so doesn’t give them the chance to taste the sweetness of selflessness.

In contrast, regular charity, irrespective of the amount given, helps us take steady steps towards selflessness. By cultivating the mentality to give in the service of Krishna, we relish a joy that lies beyond both the pain of losing our hard-earned money and the pleasure of being glorified as charitable – the spiritual joy of selfless devotion. This joy eventually brings complete and everlasting fulfillment, which is the best fruit of charity, indeed the ultimate perfection of life.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Text 01

"Fearlessness; purification of one’s existence; cultivation of spiritual knowledge; charity; self-control; performance of sacrifice; study of the Vedas; austerity; simplicity… – these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature."

Let the thoughts that go away from Krishna take our thoughts towards Krishna
When one makes lust a god, lust makes one a devil

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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  1. thank you pr ji for explaining the physical activity of daan and its linkage at the mental stage. The mental platform involved form point of view of SG, and from point of view of transcendental quality.
    thank you pr ji for explaining the inner meaning of ” daan ” . a great wisdom by you.
    hare krsna. thank you pr ji for reminding us the formula of D-Y-T

    when one performs renunciation, these three acts are never to be renounced

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  2. Hare Krishna! Jai Krishna! I just read that You are my father, my mother, my sustainer, my master, my witness, my abode, my refuge, and my dear friend. You are my goal, Krishna!

    There’s nothing else I need to ask, my Lord.

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    • Beautiful words x

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  3. Thank you Pr for posting this article, the true meaning of Charity…,

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  4. Awesome!!!..Thank you soo much!!
    Jai sri krishna!!!

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