While it is important to accumulate wealth, it is also of great importance that one needs to have the willingness to donate. The Dasvand act motivates people to donate for the betterment of others as well as for oneself. Every religion or faith that one follows teaches to grow as a kind and mature person. As a man grow physically, mentally, and economically he has a lot to share, and this sharing is of mutual benefit to the sharer as well as the one with whom he shares.
What is Dasvand?
Dasvand is an act where one donates one-tenth part of its time, effort, and money for a cause. The literal meaning of Dasvand is “the tenth part.” Whether it is money, time, or effort, Dasvand recommends that the tenth part of everything one owns must be donated to others in need. Dasvandh act finds its mention in the documents called Rahitnamas, manuals of Sikh conduct. Said to be written during the time of Guru Gobind Singh ji, the act claims that the one who does not share – does no good for himself and others.
In literal words, the quote from the Rahitnamas reads, “Hear you Nand Lal, one who does not give dasvand and, telling lies, misappropriates it, is not at all to be trusted.”
In fact, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has mentioned Dasvandh in his own lines “ghali khai kichhu hathhu dei, Nanak rahu pachhanahi sei”, which means, “He alone, O Nanak, knoweth the way who eats out of what he earneth by his honest labour and yet shareth part of it with others.”
Guru Nanak Ki Golak:
When the construction of the great Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar started, the excavation of the sarovar and the building project of the main shrine demanded a lot of money. The Sikhs then combined together and made a ritual to take out one-tenth part of their incomes to help the construction. The money thus collected made a fund which was then termed as “Guru Nanak Ki Golak.” The construction completed successfully, but the ritual was maintained further. Today, many devoted Sikhs and non-Sikhs contribute one-tenth of earnings to the Gurudwaras.
Dasvand for good to others:
Many of us have a happy life, a great income stream, a satisfied mind, and meals for all three tomes of the day. However, there are some unfortunate people in the world who are not able to manage to feed themselves or their family. The idea of donating one-tenth part of the earnings ensures that you have whatever you need to run your life happily while you also help others with their survival. The focus is on donating one-tenth because it is often the buffer that we have.
The Guru Granth Sahib teaches that “One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has – O Nanak, he knows the Path.”
Whether you donate money or efforts (in the form of seva), you must donate. Once you do, the blessings of guru showers on you and you feel the ultimate satisfaction which cannot be achieved by consuming alone.