Guru Granth Sahib on charity

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Importance of Charity

Below are Shabads from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib that give the Sikh guidance on this issue:

In the following Shabads, Guru Sahib informs of the importance of giving in charity and put this virtue together with "truth", "Truth and charity are my white clothes". Further, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib highlights five qualities, "truthfulness", "honest living", "goodwill to all", "praise of the Lord" and finally "charity in the name of God". The second Shabad tells the reader that the benefits of giving in charity is obtained by chanting the name of God. Reading these Shabads in full, it appears that giving in charity without the remembrance of God has very little spiritual benefit for the devotee.


SGGS Page 16 Full Shabad
ਰਤਾ ਪੈਨਣ੝ ਮਨ੝ ਰਤਾ ਸ੝ਪੇਦੀ ਸਤ੝ ਦਾਨ੝ ॥ ਨੀਲੀ ਸਿਆਹੀ ਕਦਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਪਹਿਰਣ੝ ਪੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ੝॥

rataa painan man rataa supaydee sat daan. neelee si-aahee kadaa karnee pahiran pair Dhi-aan.
My mind is imbued with the Lord's Love; it is dyed a deep crimson. Truth and charity are my white clothes. The blackness of sin is erased by my wearing of blue clothes, and meditation on the Lord's Lotus Feet is my robe of honor.

SGGS Page 46 Full Shabad
ਗ੝ਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮ੝ਖ੝ ਊਜਲਾ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ਦਾਨ੝ ਇਸਨਾਨ੝ ॥ ਕਾਮ੝ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ੝ ਲੋਭ੝ ਬਿਨਸਿਆ ਤਜਿਆ ਸਭ੝ ਅਭਿਮਾਨ੝ ॥੨॥

gur parsaadee mukh oojlaa jap naam daan isnaan. kaam kroDh lobh binsi-aa taji-aa sabh abhimaan. ॥2॥
By Guru's Grace, your face shall be radiant. Chanting the Naam, you shall receive the benefits of giving charity and taking cleansing baths.
Sexual desire, anger and greed are eliminated, and all egotistical pride is abandoned. ॥2॥

SGGS Page 141 Full Shabad
ਪੰਜਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਾ ਵਖਤ ਪੰਜਿ ਪੰਜਾ ਪੰਜੇ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਸਚ੝ ਹਲਾਲ ਦ੝ਇ ਤੀਜਾ ਖੈਰ ਖ੝ਦਾਇ ॥ ਚਉਥੀ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਮਨ੝ ਪੰਜਵੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਨਾਇ ॥

panj nivaajaa vakhat panj panjaa panjay naa-o. pahilaa sach halaal du-ay teejaa khair khudaa-ay. cha-uthee nee-at raas man panjvee sifat sanaa-ay.

There are five prayers and five times of day for prayer; the five have five names.
Let the first be truthfulness, the second honest living, and the third charity in the Name of God.
Let the fourth be good will to all, and the fifth the praise of the Lord.

Naam is above Charity

SGGS Page 401 Full Shabad
ਪ੝ੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਜੇਤੇ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਜੋ ਜਪੈ ਤਿਸ੝ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਾਮ੝ ॥੩॥

punn daan jap tap jaytay sabh oopar naam. har har rasnaa jo japai tis pooran kaam. ॥3॥

Donations to charity, meditation and penance - above all of them is the Naam.
One who chants with his tongue the Name of the Lord, Har, Har - his works are brought to perfect completion. ॥3॥

Give to the Right Cause

SGGS Page 1413 Full Shabad
ਅਭਿਆਗਤ ਝਹ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਭਰਮ੝ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਦਿਤੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਤੇਹੋ ਜੇਹਾ ਧਰਮ੝ ॥੧॥

ਅਭੈ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਪਰਮ ਪਦ੝ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਭੀਖਕ੝ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਭੋਜਨ੝ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਪਾਝ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥
abhi-aagat ayh na aakhee-ahi jin kai man meh bharam. tin kay ditay naankaa tayho jayhaa Dharam. ॥1॥
abhai niranjan param pad taa kaa bheekhak ho-ay. tis kaa bhojan naankaa virlaa paa-ay ko-ay. ॥2॥
Do not call the wandering beggars holy men, if their minds are filled with doubt. Whoever gives to them, O Nanak, earns the same sort of merit. ॥1॥
One who begs for the supreme status of the Fearless and Immaculate Lord - how rare are those who have the opportunity, O Nanak, to give food to such a person. ॥2॥


Failing to give

SGGS Page 712 Full Shabad
ਧਾਇ ਧਾਇ ਕ੝ਰਿਪਨ ਸ੝ਰਮ੝ ਕੀਨੋ ਇਕਤ੝ਰ ਕਰੀ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਦਾਨ੝ ਪ੝ੰਨ੝ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਤਨ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਿਤ ਹੀ ਕਾਜਿ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥੧॥

Dhaa-ay Dhaa-ay kirpan saram keeno ikatar karee hai maa-i-aa. daan punn nahee santan sayvaa kit hee kaaj na aa-i-aa. ॥1॥

With great effort and exertion, the miser works to gather in the riches of Maya.
He does not give anything in charity or generosity, and he does not serve the Saints; his wealth does not do him any good at all.॥1॥


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