Saatvik daan & corporate social Dharma in India

The practice of saatvik daan is since the civilization journey of the country and is a prominent part of Indian cultural practices. दान करना [daan karna] to alienate, to bestow, to dispose or to donate. Daan include all the philanthropic practices. Daan could be broadly classified into saatvik daan, rajsik daan and tamsik Daan [these terms are from Bhagwat Geeta]. Saatvik daan is the daan without expectation of return (name, fame or money)

According to Purushartha(object of human pursuit)- the basic aim of human life are: dharma(righteousness, moral values), Artha(prosperity, economic values), Kama(pleasure, love, psychological values) & Moksha(liberation from rebirth). Dharma is the base of life. In Indian mythology humans are taught to live their life like trees, that is taking less from the surroundings with comparison which is given out. Basically taking from the environment & giving it back. The saatvik daan is been practiced since satyug (the golden age), few examples and mention in the Indian mythologies Ramayana and Mahabharata. People like raja Bali in satyug and danveer Karn & Rantideva in dwapara yug(the third out of four yugas or ages, described in the scriptures of Hinduism). There are many such examples from every time-period, even till now people are practicing the same.

The introduction of modern C.S.R.(corporate social responsibility) is the part of corporate social dharma. India became the first country to make it mandatory and the corporates in the state are working for it & doing social daan. C.S.R. is legally mandatory, in section 135 of India’s company act. There are few criteria for an organization to mandatory do C.S.R. activities. The teaching of saatvik daan from the VedasRig Veda, the ancient Hindu scripture have a part in which it tell the need of wealthy people to plant trees and build tanks for the community as it would bring them glory in life and beyond continuous flow of money to people who need is more important than it’s accumulation & creating wealth for the welfare of society is one of the important responsibility of business enterprise. The discussion of strategic C.S.R. is given in it. •Athara Veda also says that one should procure wealth one hundred hands & distribute it with one thousand hands. That directly talks about c.s.r, that it distributing the share of wealth of corporate among the people of the society. Treating common people as shareholders of the profit made my the organization. • The Upanishads also talk about philanthropy, there are lines like”when you give something to someone, give them with respect, if you cannot give with respect, then don’t give at all, give gracefully, give with modestly, give with fear(least you offer)” ,Which also teaches the way to satvik daan and philanthropy. This teaches the path of share of wealth & no one belongs it, wealth is for the one who needs it.

Kautilya’s Arthasastra also give the idea of social welfare by the powerful ones (Kings in past, presently big organizations). In the subject of good governance, he said in his book arthasastra-” in the happiness of his subjects (society- general public) lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare, he shall not consider as good only that which please him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects”. In this line, he said to full-fill the needs & requirements of the society, the development is parallel.

In the period of kings & kingdoms, king’s donated for building temples which meant the development of employment and shelter for homeless in the vicinity. They even gift hoard of cows along with other gifts to the people in need as well as Santa. The practices are learning for the corporate, to do social daan which is considered as Dharma or duty of wealthy corporates to do corporate social responsibility. •In Bhagavat Gita the three types of daan & the importance of saatvik daan is given. The Adi Parva of Mahabharata stated “A person must first aquire wealth by honest means, then embark on charity, be hospitable to those who come to him, never inflict pain on any living being and share a portion with others whatever he consumer”. This is well self- explanatory to adopt good ways to obtain wealth, that is corporates should not do any wrong practices, i.e. harming the environment, exploiting people, misguiding consumers, produce course products or any other way of making profit by wrong ways. After the organization earn that profit , the part of that shubh labh (profit from good) should be put in for social good. •In Mahabharata’s chapter of Anushasana Parva, it recommends public projects as a form of daan, it discusses the building of drinking water tanks for people and cattles as a noble form of giving, as well as giving of lamps for lighting dark public spaces.

Daan has been a consistent part of India cultural & teachings. This show the cultural richness and values. So corporate should be socially responsible. Environment, common people and government, all are shareholders of an organization. So the concept of saatvik daan, which is the part of corporate social Dharma should be in practiced.

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