TEXT 20
dātavyam iti yad dānaṁ
dīyate 'nupakāriṇe
deśe kāle ca pātre ca
tad dānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛtam
SYNONYMS
dātavyamworth giving; itithus; yatthat which; dānamcharity; dīyategiven; anupakāriṇeto any person irrespective of doing good; desein place; kālein time; caalso; pātresuitable person; caand; tatthat; dānamcharity; sāttvikamin the mode of goodness; smṛtamconsider.
TRANSLATION
That gift which is given out of duty, at the proper time and place, to a worthy person, and without expectation of return, is considered to be charity in the mode of goodness.
PURPORT
In the Vedic literature, charity given to a person engaged in spiritual activities is recommended. There is no recommendation for giving charity indiscriminately. Spiritual perfection is always a consideration. Therefore charity is recommended to be given at a place of pilgrimage and at lunar or solar eclipses or at the end of the month or to a qualified brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava (devotee) or in temples. Such charities should be given without any consideration of return. Charity to the poor is sometimes given out of compassion, but if a poor man is not worth giving charity to, then there is no spiritual advancement. In other words, indiscriminate charity is not recommended in the Vedic literature.

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