What is the right way of donating for charity and beggars? Can we gift old clothes?
Ambika rane asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Rajan Prabhuji! I have read somewhere that it is not right to give old used clothes for charity. Then how do we dispose old clothes?”
CHARITY means helping others without expecting any returns and also helping WITH DIGNITY.
I have seen many offering biksha to the beggars with irritation. This is absolutely wrong.
Even if you offer just Rupee One to a beggar, you should offer with love, or, atleast without irritation or pride.
When a beggar shows his palms for help from you, he has surrendered to you and is asking help for living.
Will we dare to beg from others? He begs from you.
That means, because of his bad situation, he has surrendered his ego and is showing his palms in front of you.
It is a very bad quality to insult a person who is in a lower level in the status and has surrendered his ego and beg for help from you.
Scriptures advise that we should embrace and give dignity for those who are lower in status than us.
The right way of offering dhaan (or) donation is given below in points:
(i) Offer your dhaan or donation with the full realization that it is the duty of the persons who have been blessed with sufficient earning or wealth, to help those who are struggling in life.
(ii) See that as an opportunity given by God to help the downtrodden people.
(iii) Offer whatever you can at that time. But, offer a decent amount. (For example, now a days, offering biksha of One rupee will be very less. If you have more, offer atleast five rupees for every beggar. When you happen to face many beggars, split your resources as atleast two rupees for every beggar.)
(iv) If you are bombarded with many beggars, but your resources are limited, offer only to those who have the disabilities like blindness, mental retardness, etc and then kindly tell others that you will help them another day.
(v) Never show your irritation to any beggar or to those devotees or others who seek donation from you. If possible, donate or be silent. Insulting a person who is begging from you is a serious offense.
(vii) After offering help to a person, we should not treat him like a slave or as if he is indebted for us. He has given you the opportunity to you to help him and reduce your karma.
(viii) By offering donation or biksha to the needy people like the devotees or temples, a part of your bad karma is reduced. Therefore, you are purified stage by stage.
(ix) If a person is KNOWN to be a rascal and anti social or anti national, avoid helping him because that dhaan is not effective. However, if you are NOT AWARE of his bad qualities and you help him, you will not be affected, but, the cheated person will be affected. But, you should try your best to select a right person to help.
(x) God gives us resources to help others only. Though more is recommended by the scriptures, atleast 5-10% of your earning should be spent for helping others without expecting any returns. This will definitely reduce your struggles in life by reducing your karma.
(xi) If anyone who is blessed with the resources lives without helping the needy people, in his next birth, he will be given a life of poverty. This is well confirmed by the scriptures like Garuda Purana by Krishna Himself.
(xii) For low earners: If you have just 100 rupees every day as earning, spend just 2-3 or 5 rupees for charity. Enough. Do not borrow to help others. Help as per your capacity.
(xiii) VERY IMPORTANT: HELP WITH DIGNITY:
Do not offer only what you do not require anymore, or, those who is not useful to you anymore, or, you have already used. It is a great insult to the person receiving the help. If you like to give clothes for a person, offer atleast single clothe as a newly bought one. In case he/ she voluntarily asks used clothes, you can give. But, along with a new clothe. Offering only the old things is not good.
In case, you offer used items like clothes or vessels or vehicles, etc., follow these important two conditions:
(a) Offer used items ONLY IF HE HIMSELF ASKS, ALONG WITH A NEW CLOTHE. However, consumer durables can be given without adding new one to it, but, only if he himself asks the same.
(b) The used items given by you should not have any defects. Even a small defect will make that dhaan offensive. For example, if you had used the clothes many times, do not give them. If you had used them just a few times and they have no defects, give him if asked by them.
GIVING A DEFECTIVE MATERIAL AS DHAAN IS VERY OFFENSIVE. SIMILARLY, GIVING AN UNWANTED SCRAP MATERIAL IS ALSO OFFFENSIVE.
Just because a person seeks a help from you, he is not inferior. He is giving you an opportunity to reduce your karma stage by stage.
Therefore, make it a habit to help those genuine persons who are in need and those who are helping you in devotional growth, WITH A DUTY BOUND CONSCIOUSNESS WITHOUT EXPECTING ANY RETURNS. Helping the devotees is very much appreciated by Krishna Himself.
This will make your life very meaningful. This Nishkam support coupled with the devotional practices will stop your further births also.
Hope this is helpful.
If you like to support this service to lakhs of devotees, here is the place: