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Dear Ektaji,
When do we call it Apatradanam? My husband and I helped on several occasions, our Indian temple priest by giving guru Dakshina in US dollars. Now there is a request for money for his daughter’s dental procedure. Because I can not help out of my limits, I tried to explain to him, but it seems like he is upset and I feel guilty. My question is – will his bad feelings toward us hurt us [his devotees for very long]?



No dear. Nobody has the power to hurt or harm you by sending curses or bad vibrations your way, that happens only in Witchcraft stories, Harry Potter books, and Bollywood movies 🙂

Your inner voice will always guide the power of discrimination [viveka] to be able to separate the wholesome from the unwholesome. That inner voice gave you the correct signal and you followed your heart when you explained to him about your limits. Now don’t doubt your Viveka.

Your Viveka will always help you know when it is going to be an Apatra-Daanam. Weigh the truth on the scale [tarazu] of wholesome/unwholesome, it will surely tell you what is the right action, without fail.

Apatra means one who does not deserve or is not worthy. Apatra Daanam examples would be:

    • If you give money to a rich man,
    • If you give power to a terrorist who will use it in the wrong way,
    • If you give shelter to the runaway from the law,
    • If you give to get back in return,
    • If you give food to a full stomach,
    • If you give to an unwholesome/negative mind,

In case of Apatra Daanam, not only do you accrue karma on account of your action, but you also get taxed for Pramada [knowingly doing wrong].

Always be careful while doing charity. Be clear that Patra Daanam is that where you give purely for a good cause, for the benefit of all, to the deserving one/ones and with a completely pure heart.

May your daana always bring merit. Sukhi bhava

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  1. Madhu Bobba

    Ekataji! Following to above question. How do we know or decide if the family is rich or poor? I wanted to do something to make my principal comfortable within my budget, she is 83 yrs old and she is staying in a convent as a nun. When I mentioned it to her, she requested to give that money towards her sister’s daughter’s education. Should I judge the student’s family whether they deserve this or not ? Since the request was made for a good cause (Education), I should not bother anything else? I am confused. Please help.

    • Gnyana Sangha

      The answer is in your question dear, it is never outside. If you sit long enough with the question, the answer will find you. Stay! Stay!


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