Tuesday, July 7, 2009

give to the needy - वृथा वृष्टिः समुद्रेषु

rain in ocean is waste, food for the already-fed is waste |
charity to the opulent is waste, and lamp, even in daytime, is waste ||

वृथा वृष्टिः समुद्रेषु, वृथा तृप्तेषु भोजनम् ।
वृथा दानं धनाढ्येषु वृथा दीपो दिवापि च ॥

vRithA vRiShTiH samudreShu, vRithA tRipteShu bhojanaM |
vRithA dAnaM dhanADhyeShu, vRithA dIpo divApi cha ||

the act of giving has to be done to the needy.

another famous shloka from bhagawadgItA says - the giving that is done with a sense of duty, without chance of return favor, considering the time, place and need of the recipient is considered as the best type of giving.

so while it is true that one should give as if it is one's duty, a must chore, but the need of the recipient must be considered.

same is for a gift given for the sake of giving, not keeping in mind who is getting and whether s/he needs or not. lot of times, we give birthday gifts without considering if the child needs it, already has it or will even use it. that gift is truly wasted.

anyone remember how all state governments in india wanted to give prizes to abhinav bindra, the first solo gold medal in olympics 2008. why? because all wanted to come in the news, so and so has given an award of 5 lakhs, or 10 lakhs. one state government even announced 1 crore ($250,000)

and how poor is this star abhinav bindra? his dad gives him a multi-story five-star hotel as GIFT? does he really need $10,000 or $250,000 ? it would have been better if these entities who wanted to cash the publicity, made a sports complex in the name of abhinava bindra! that way, it wuld have been a full win-win situation! abhinav gets name, govt/entity gets press coverage, future sportsmen get facility!

nope, वृथा दानं धनाढ्येषु (vRithA dAnaM dhanADhyeShu), charity to the opulent ...

note the alliterative use of vRi sound.

also, in writing धनाढ्येषु, the ढ्य has a weird looking य, it indicates the previous consonant is half, specially used for consonants that don't have the trailing bar of 'a' mAtrA, the vertical bar at the end, as in म प च etc.

now the shloka at hand -

vRithA = in vain, waste, useless, pointless, meaningless
vRiShTiH = rain, showering of something
samudra = ocean; samudreShu = in the ocean

tRipta = content, well fed, well nourished (tRip - verb, to be content)
tRipteShu = in the satisfied; i.e. for the satisfied/well-fed person
bhojanaM = food

dAnaM = giving, charity, alms; from dad - to give
ADhya = rich;
dhanADhya = rich of wealth; dhana (wealth) + ADhya
guNADhya = rich of qualities; guNa (qualities) + ADhya
dhanADhyeShu = in the rich man; i.e. charity to the rich ... is a useless

dIpaH = lamp; from dIpta = brilliant; divya = illuminating; deva = the divine (illuminating light) being.
divA = day
api = also, even

like it? then become a fan of the blog
share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.


  1. It's an amazing work that you have done sir . I prefer have some such inspirational shloka with illustration for students

  2. I was looking for this shloka. It was in my school syllabus. Thanks.


Please do add your name and place, after the comment.