Are you struggling with finances? Has COVID-19’s devastating impact on the economy taken a toll on you?
Happily, ancient Vedic knowledge has a solution. Despite the cataclysmic changes sweeping the globe, ancient Vedic knowledge offers a timeless method to usher in prosperity: Daan.
Daan means sharing assets in a spirit of humility. However, it is not mere gift-giving or charitable donation. Specific disciplines must be observed in practice of Daan. When done properly, Daan leads to prosperity and helps one develop non-attachment to worldly possessions.
This non-attachment goes a long way toward promoting happiness. Think of the stress people experience over money issues!
Practice of Agnihotra sets into motion favorable conditions for the performer. Daan further promotes peace and equilibrium in the material realm of one’s life.
The disciplines of Daan, as stated in Light Towards Divine Path by Vasant V. Paranjpe, are as follows:
“1. You give Daan because it is your duty to do so. This means you are not obliging the person to whom you give. You should consider yourself obliged by the person who accepts your gift. He is the instrumental cause to enable you to transform your mind and hence, he is obliging you.
“2. Do not give Daan for name or fame. If you give cash or material possessions for name or fame it is not Daan. Daan has to be done in secrecy. ‘Let your left hand not know what your right hand does.’ if you talk about it to others it is likely to nourish your pride and our aim of removing tension on the mind will not be achieved.
“3. Everyone wants to be happy and hence, everyone has to share his assets in a spirit of humility. A rich man has to give and a poor man has to give. A rich man can receive and a poor man can receive Daan.
“4. Daan needs to be made out of one’s own earnings.
“5. The person to whom you give needs to be a proper person. A hungry man is a proper person to receive food. A person in need of necessities of life is a proper person to receive them in kind or cash. In all other cases Daan should be given to a person who is normally given to what, according to you, are good habits. If you give Daan to somebody who you think is likely to spend it on wrong purposes, then it is not Daan. Not only have you not done a good act but you involve yourself in a bad act as you become instrumental in pushing him into wrong things and you become a partner in his guilt. If Daan is given to a rich person he is likely to spend the amount again in Daan by adding his own to it. If Daan is given to a poor person he is likely to spend it on good works. If Daan is given to a holy person you are always safe as he would certainly spend it for the benefit of society. Use your discretion in such matters.”
Let’s also consider the meaning of prosperity. It means having what you need in order to evolve in this life. As Shree Vasant Paranjpe once told me, “Prosperity means what you need. It could be cowdung.” (Dried cowdung is a necessity for those who practice Agnihotra.)
If you’re struggling financially, it may seem counterintuitive to start giving cash or possessions away, but it is a matter of experience that material conditions improve when we practice Daan.
You may be wondering where to start. How much to give? As Shree Vasant once advised about Daan, “You should feel the pinch of it.” For cash, it doesn’t need to be a huge amount, but it should be an amount that you notice. It should be an effort to part with it.
Although results are guaranteed, as this is a universal law, the tricky part is not looking for any result. We practice Daan because it is our duty, and then we should forget about it; no expectation. This can become easier if we regularly set aside something for Daan–for example, something from the weekly paycheck.
Other material assets may be given as Daan, such as produce from the garden.
When we practice Daan according to these disciplines, what happens? Light Towards Divine Path states:
“You part with $100 and within a short time you get back a little over $100 in cash or some material benefit. This is a super physical law of Nature and hence inviolable. Daan is therefore called a material aid to happy living.