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There are different methods of donating alms. One of the most sacred is known as tulapurusha. In this, a pair of scales is used. The person who is donating the alms ascends on one side of the scales and gold is placed on the other side until the scales are exactly balanced. This is the amount of gold that has to be donated if punya is to be acquired. A second sort of donation is known as hiranyagarbha. In this, a pot full of gold is donated. In a third form of donation a model of the universe (brahmanda) is fashioned out of gold and donated. This form of donation is therfore known as brahmanda. The fourth form of donation is known as kalpadapa. In this, a tree is made out of gold and donated. The fifth form of donation is known as gosahasra and involves the donation of a thousand cows. The sixth form of donation is known as kamadhenu. The object of donation in this case is a cow and calf, both made out of gold. The seventh form of donation is similar and is known as hiranyashva. A horse made out of gold is donated. The eighth form of donation is called ashvaratha. A horse (ashva) and four chariots (ratha) have to be donated and both have to be made out of gold. Hemahastiratha is the ninth form of donation. The objects or donation in this case are an elephant and a chariot made out of gold.

The tenth form of donation is known as panchalngalaka. In this case, ten ploughs are donated. Five of them have to be made of wood and the remaining five have to be made of gold. The eleven form of donation is dhara. Int his case,a golden model of the earth is donated. The twelfth form of donation is known as vishvachakra. The object that is donated is again a model made out of gold. The model is that of the universe in the shape of a wheel. The thirteenth form of

donation is mahakalapalaka. Ten creepers made out of god are donated. The fourteenth form of donation is saptasagara. Pits are made in the ground, there being seven of them. Each pit stands for one of the seven oceans. In the first pit is put salt, in the second milk, in the third clarified butter, in the fourth molasses, in the fifth curds, in the sixth sugar and in the seventh holy water. An image of a god or goddess is then placed in each pit- Brahma in the first, Vishnu in the second, Shiva in the third, Surya in the fourth, Yama in the fifth. Lakshmi in the sixth and Parvati in the seventh. The images must be made out of gold. The pits are then filed to the brim with jewels and the entire contents donated.

 

The fifteenth form of donation is called ratnadhenu. In this case, a cow made out of gold is donated. The nose, the eyes, the brows and various other parts of the cow should be made out of jewels. The sixteen form of donation is called mahabhutaghata. A pot is made out of gold, filled with jewels and donated. These different forms of donation are superior to all other forms of donation, and bring undying punya.