This video series explores the distinction between daan, dakshina and bhiksha and redefines the emotions associated with the transmission of wealth in the Puranas.
Daan, dakshina and bhiksha are often used to explain an offering in casual terms. However, if you compare the three words from a mythological point of view, you will understand the emotion associated pertaining to the transmission of wealth.
Dakshina, in the Vedic period, were mostly with Brahmins or priests. They perform a Yagya and seek dakshina. So essentially, Dakshina meant a service fee in exchange for a service.
Bhiksha, on the other hand, was associated with people who begged for alms. In the story of Krishna and Sudama, the latter is not sure if he should ask for bhiksha. But Krishna helps a friend and offers food knowing that he can’t afford it.
However, daan is slightly different. A person offers help voluntarily without the other person asking for it. While Krishna is giving it as daan to Sudama, he says I don’t want anything from you. Understanding bhiksha and daan is important when you are talking about charity, generosity and of course corporate social responsibility.Is the giving of wealth back to society an act of bhiksha? Or is it been done voluntarily even without people asking for it as daan? This is a question that we need to ask ourselves. What is the emotion accompanying our transaction? Are we giving a service fee? Are we giving alms? Or are we doing charity with a spirit of generosity?