In the book "Noble Use of Money", Gnani Purush (embodiment of Self knowledge) Dada Bhagwan explains that best charity means to offer happiness to others, for "when you give happiness to others, you get happiness in return".
Dadashri provides answers to questions such as:
"Why is it helpful to donate to charity?"
"What are the reasons to make an anonymous donation?"
"Of the many charities to donate to, what are the best charities to donate to?"
"Is giving to charity part of leading a spiritual life?"
"Is giving to charity part of leading a spiritual life?"
Among the many spiritual books available today, it is rare to find spiritual guidance related to the highest use of money - charity donations. This resource offering spiritual advice on how to make a donation, and why to make an anonymous donation, is sure to prove invaluable.
Dadashri explains that, among the many ways to be happier, the simplest way to "buy happiness" is giving away money, especially in the form of anonymous donations.
What Is The Purpose Of Charity?
Questioner: Why do people give to charity?
Dadashri: One gives because he wants something in return. A person gives happiness in order to receive happiness in return. People do not give for the purpose of liberation. When you give happiness to others, you will receive happiness. Whatever you give, you will get back. That is the rule. We receive by giving to others and we lose by taking away from others.
Questioner: Which is better, fasting or giving charity?
Dadashri: Giving charity is like sowing a field. When you sow something, you will reap its fruit. Fasting increases one's internal awareness. However, the Lord has said that one should fast only to his body's point of toleration.
The Very Meaning Of Charity Is To Give Happiness!
Charity means to give happiness to other living beings, humans, or animals. When you give happiness to others, the result of that will be happiness for you in return. When you give happiness to others, happiness immediately comes to you.
Whenever you give charity you feel good inside. Despite giving away your own money, you feel good because you have done something good. When you do something good, you feel good and when you do something bad, you feel bad. Based on this can you not tell what is good and what is not ?
Solutions For Happiness !
Questioner: Should we give to the poor and needy or should we worship God for peace of mind?
Dadashri: If you want peace of mind, then you should give what is yours to others. Tomorrow buy a carton of ice cream, feed some people, and see how much joy you get from doing that. As such people do not care for ice cream on a cold, rainy day, but try it all the same for your peace of mind. Feed the birds and animals some grains and watch them jump with joy as they eat. You too, will feel joy within. These pigeons get excited even before you throw the grains! So when you give someone something that belongs to you, you will experience joy within.
Say for example, someone is badly hurt and in order to stop the bleeding you have to tear your expensive shirt to use as a bandage, even then you will feel good inside.
Where (To Whom) Should Charity Be Given?
Questioner: Some religions say that people should donate a percentage of their earnings. What is that for?
Dadashri: There is nothing wrong with donating to religion, but the money from the donation must be put to good use. If the money is likely to be abused, then you should not give anything; give elsewhere.
Make sure that your money goes towards a good cause. Otherwise too much money squandered in worldly pleasures can take you to a lower life form. Give your money towards a good cause. Religious leaders however should not take the money for themselves.
Divert Your Money Towards Religion
It is very difficult to manage money! Therefore, it is better to earn less money instead. If a person earns ten thousand a year and gives one thousand as charity, he does not have to worry. Regardless of whether one person gives a million and another gives a thousand, it is all the same. However little it may be, it is still best to give. At least you will have diverted your money towards a good cause; otherwise managing of money is very difficult. It carries a great risk and involves a lot of suffering. It is easier to care for animals than to care for money. With animals all you have to do is tie them on a leash and you know they will still be there the next morning. Money however, is very difficult to manage. It creates problems and worries.
Does Money Not Last With Gnan?
Questioner: I earn ten thousand rupees every month, but why does it not last?
Dadashri: Money that has been earned after the year 1942 does not last. All of the money that has been earned from 1942 onwards is associated with demerit karma (paap) from past lives, and that is why it does not last. This however, will change in a few years. I am a Gnani Purush and still the money that comes to me does not last. As long as you have enough money to take care of your obligations, that is all you need.
Questioner: What should we do when money starts to run low?
Dadashri: Money is not something that lasts. You have to change the way it is being used. Divert it towards a good cause. Whatever is spent towards a good cause is considered 'real money.' Money will last in a religious household because there will not be any conflicts there. In a household where there is only money and no piety, there will only be conflicts. People earn enormous amounts of money, but that money goes to waste. It is only at the hands of those with a lot of merit karma, that money will be spent towards a good cause. It is great merit karma (punya) indeed when money is spent for a good cause.
After 1942, money has not been of any quality. Nowadays money is not used for the right cause. It would be very good if it were.
Money Would Last For Seven Generations
Questioner: In India money lasts for several generations, whereas here in America it lasts at the most, six to eight years and then is depleted. Often a person who has the money will lose it and the one who has none will gain some. What is the reason behind this?
Dadashri: The merit karmas of people in India are so sticky that no matter how hard a person tries to get rid of his money, he will not succeed. Similarly, the demerit karmas are also very sticky, therefore making prosperity very hard to come by. Whether a person is a Vaishnav or a Jain, his merit karmas are so tightly bound that he cannot get rid of money even if he wants to.
There was a very wealthy and famous man from Petlad, named Ramanlal. Wealth had been passed down through his family for seven generations. The family was extremely generous and regularly donated large amounts of money, yet they never ran short. He had bound very tight merit karmas. People can also bind demerit karmas (paap) in the same way and consequently suffer intense poverty for generations to come. They suffer endless miseries. Therefore, the karmas that one binds can also vary in intensity.
In America, wealth fluctuates rapidly, whereas in India the cycle of fluctuation is slower and wealth lasts for several generations. Nowadays however, people do not have such punyas. A person can only be born into a wealthy family if he or she has the same amount of punyas as the head of the family. It is not the punyas of the head of a family but the punyas of the proceeding generation that keeps the family wealth intact. Who can be born into the famous household of Kasturbhai? It is only the one with same kind of punyas as his. Where can one find such fortunate people with such merit karmas, nowadays? There have been few with such punyas in the last twenty-five years.
Otherwise It Runs Down The Drain
In the past, money would last for at least three to five generations. Nowadays it does not even last for one generation. It comes and goes in a person's lifetime. What kind of money is this? It is money which comes as a result of past merit karma but creates new demerit karma (paapanubandhi punya). There is still some money which comes as a result of merit karma and also causes new merit karmas (punyanubandhi punya). Such money inspires you to come here to satsang. It brings you here and makes you spend that money for spiritual and other worthy causes. That money will go to a worthy cause; otherwise everything will be lost without any gain. Everything will go down the drain.
Your children are enjoying your money but if you were to tell them this, they will tell you that they are enjoying their money, so how can it be considered yours? When they tell you this, it means that everything has gone down the drain!