Episode # 581 – “Dhaanam” more significant than “Tapas”? – Sage Vyasa explains beautifully!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vyaasa’s accord on how patience and perseverance are very important in the pursuit of “Dharma”. Sage Vyaasa advises Yudishtra and motivates him to continue his path without any blemish. He explains how there is always some amount of pain before success is achieved. Moreover, in line with what Sage Vyaasa is explaining, we’re also witnessing some excerpts from the Bhagawad Gita wherein Bhagawan is explaining how it is difficult to tame our body and how easy it is to tame our mind, when it comes to implementing a change. Bhagawan Krishna explains how it is very difficult to adjust our physical body to changing conditions, whereas it is quite easy to adjust our mind to accommodate any sort of mental and emotional changes. If there is a bad happening for instance, our mind knows how to move on with it, without brooding over that bad happening for years together! 

Moving on further thus, Bhagawan Krishna here emphasizes that changes that happen both in terms of the physical body as well as the mind should be welcomed and we should be open to it. We should be patient and enduring to change and this is exactly what Sage Vyaasa is explaining here, with regards to “Tapas”. Thus, the question comes – What is real “Tapas”? The answer to this is that, the level of perseverance and patience that one endures in his / her life to embrace changes in terms of physical body as well as our mind, is “Tapas”. “Tapas” is extremely significant and a person who endures “pairs” is considered to be a “Tapasvi”. Now what are these pairs? “Sukham” (Happiness) and “Dukham” (Sorrow) is a pair. Similarly, “Laabham” (Profit) and “Nashtam” (Loss) is a pair in business context. In similar lines, victory and loss are a pair. This list goes on endlessly. Thus, a person who is able to view both the elements in these pairs with equality is a great “Tapasvi”. 

As Sage Vyaasa answers thus, Yudishtra is still not convinced with the answer. He wants to listen to more descriptions from Sage Vyaasa. Yudishtra asks thus, “Oh Sage Vyaasa! I now understood how important “Tapas” is! However, I’ve heard many times from many experts that “Dhaanam” is more significant. How can this be? What do you understand by the term “Dhaanam”? How is “Dhaanam” and “Tapas” related with each other? Now tell me, which is significant? “Dhaanam” or “Tapas”? As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Vyaasa quickly understands where Yudishtra is coming to! His question is of a very high level. Upon hearing Yudishtra’s question, Sage Vyaasa is extremely happy! He replies thus, “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve asked a very very important question here. Now let me reveal something to you – “Dhaanam” is more significant than “Tapas”! I shall justify the reason for it as well – Now, if a person exhibits extreme “Tapas” and earns a lot of material in his life, this material that he earns has enormous significance. This is because the material that he is earning is out of genuine nature and he is working hard to earn it. Hard work involves extreme “Tapas”, just like how you’re doing here. The material that this person is earning might be anything – It can be money, gold, coins, etc. If the earning comes via the legitimate way, obviously that person has put in a lot of effort! And this effort should of course be in the path of “Dharma”. If such is the case, the material that he earns has enormous significance. Now, if this person is donating his hard-earned material to someone who is in dire need, with all his love and affection, isn’t this “Dhaanam” more significant than the “Tapas” with which this person has earned the material? Hence, if we look at this angle, “Dhaanam” seems to be more significant than “Tapas”. Thus, if a person donates his hard-earned material to someone wholeheartedly, this is the best spiritual “Saadhana” that this person can perform in life!” Such is Sage Vyaasa’s beautiful reply to Yudishtra.  

However, we’ve to note one point here – When we’re offering the “Dhaanam”, there are certain important parameters that we need to satisfy here. For instance, the person who is obtaining the “Dhaanam” should be deserving for that. We shouldn’t just be giving things to anyone and everyone for the sake of doing the “Dhaanam”. We should donate only to those who are deserving candidates. For instance, giving a bribe is not a “Dhaanam”. I hope readers would understand what I’m trying to establish here. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, I shall continue this discussion forward to explain what are the various important parameters that we should consider while performing the “Dhaanam”. Stay tuned for an important accord! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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