adeshakale yaddaanamapaatrebhyashcha deeyate |
asatkritamavajnyaatam tattaamasamudaahritam || 22 ||

 
That which is donated at an incorrect place or time, to wrong persons, without respect and out of ignorance, that charity is called taamasic.
 
adeshakale : incorrect place or time
yat : that which
daanam : charity
apaatrebhyaha : to wrong persons
cha : and
deeyate : donated
asatkritam : without respect
avajnyaatam : out of ignorance
tat : that
taamasam : taamasic
udaahritam : is called
 
Having covered the nature of saatvic and raajasic charity, Shri Krishna now describes taamasic charity. He says that charity performed without considering a proper time and place is considered taamasic. If we donate on a whim rather than doing so on an auspicious day, for instance, we introduce a tinge of our ego into the donation. Also, gifts that trouble the recipient, gifts given out of complete ignorance, are taamasic as well. Donating an expensive TV to a person who is struggling to eat does not make sense.
 
Many people nowadays take pleasure in insulting their priest or their teacher while giving them a gift, simply because they are drunk with power and money. Such charity in which an insult, a slur or a taunt is given along with the gift also becomes taamasic. If we disrespect the recipient of our charity, we are harming ourselves and the recipient instead of performing an auspicious act. A gift should always be given with politeness and humility. Furthermore, gifts should never be given to unworthy persons such as robbers and criminals.
 
We should be careful, however, to use our judgement and our discretion while performing charity, and not abstain for charity just because we are worried about going against the rules prescribed here. There are millions of people around the world that struggle to survive, that are in need of food, water, clothing and medicine. If we donate money to any institution that provides needy people with these amenities, we may not have control over the time and place of the donation, but that should not stop us. More broadly, there are instances where our acts of sacrifice, penance and charity may have a defect in them. Shri Krishna gives us a formula to deal with them next.

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