Showing posts with label Dana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dana. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Mitra Mishra?


Mitra Mishra (early 17th c.) is the author of the Viramitrodaya, a compendium of Hindu lore.

The Viramitrodaya is an example of a class of commentarial literature known as nibandhas (“collections”).

The compilers of the nibandhas culled references on a particular theme from the Vedas, dharma literature, puranas, and other authoritative religious texts, placing these excerpts into a single volume.

Each of the Viramitrodaya’s twenty-two sections is devoted to a particular aspect of Hindu life, such as daily practice, worship, gift-giving (dana), vows, pilgrimage, penances (prayashchitta), purification, death rites (antyeshthi samskara), and law; the final section is devoted to final liberation of the soul (moksha) (moksha).

In addition to citing the relevant scriptural passages, Mitra Mishra also provides extensive commentary of his own.

His work became an important source for later legal interpretation, particularly in eastern India.

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Hinduism - What Is Dana?

(“giving”) Giving to charity. This is a frequent religious practice since it is seen to be a religiously meritorious deed. 

Dana is particularly common in pilgrimage sites and other holy locations (tirthas), where the sacredness is thought to magnify the effects of any action, good or ill. 

One of the ancient paradigms for trade is dana, which is followed by dakshina (preceptor's fee). 

The distinction between the two is that dakshina is a charge for services, but dana is provided voluntarily and has no monetary value. 

Aside from the incalculable religious merit that dana generates, it is also a traditional means to get rid of any bad luck or inauspiciousness that is passed on to the recipient with the gift. 

Receiving dana is karmically hazardous because of this presumption, but dakshina has no such stigmas. 

People who rely primarily on presents, such as beggars at pilgrimage sites, are in a difficult situation, since they are sometimes regarded as "vessels" (patras) for the depositing of bad luck. 

Even inside the family, there are ways to convey inauspiciousness via well-established gift-giving patterns, notably the kanyadan, or gift of a wife in marriage, which is an ubiquitous habit in normal society. 

Gloria Goodwin Raheja, The Poison in the Gift, 1988, has further information on dana and gift-giving habits. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.