yattu pratyupakaaraartham phalamuddishya vaa punaha |
deeyate cha pariklishtam taddaanam raajasam smritam || 21 ||

 
And that which is donated for repaying an obligation, or with the intent of a reward, and also reluctantly, that charity is called raajasic.
 
yat : that which
tu : and
pratyupakaaraartham : for repaying an obligation
phalam : reward
uddishya : intent
vaa : or
punaha : also
deeyate : donated
cha : and
pariklishtam : reluctantly
tat : that
daanam : charity
raajasam : raajasic
smritam : is called
 
Let me give something to this politician’s charitable organization, so that at a later stage I will be able to use him to further my business. Let me give something to this doctor’s son on his birthday, so that I will be taken care of in a medical emergency. Let me give a new year gift to to my neighbour, so that he will come to my aid if I am in trouble and so on. In all these thoughts, a tinge of selfishness has crept in. Shri Krishna says that the giving of charity, and gifts in general, while expecting something in return, is raajasic charity.
 
Furthermore, charity is also performed to repay a favour or an obligation to someone else. This is referred to as “pratyupkaara” in the shloka. For instance, repaying a favour with cash sometimes is frowned upon socially. We may then think about repaying the favour through a charitable donation or a gift in kind. Such charity is also considered raajasic, because a business mindset, a transaction oriented mindset has come into the picture. We are not really performing charity, we are doing a business deal.
 
The most raajasic form of charity is when we donate something with the feeling of “pariklishtam”. It means doing something reluctantly, unwillingly, with a heavy heart, with a feeling of sadness. We are so attached to the money or goods being donated that we cannot bear to see them separated from us. We will think hundred times before donating anything. What will happen if I donate this? How will I replace it? Will I need it again? Our mamatva, our sense of mine-ness is quite strong, and needs to be examined.

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