Episode # 582 – Difference between “Dhaanam” & “Prathyupakaaram” – An important pointer!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vyaasa explaining to Yudishtra as to how Dhaanam, combined with Tapas is extremely significant, and if we’re obtaining a “Dhaanam” from people who have this combination of characteristics in them, we can consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate. Thus, if a person is offering some material as “Dhaanam”, which is earned by him / her through immense “Tapas”, this is the greatest offering that one can do. Hence, Sage Vyaasa answers Yudishtra’s question by saying that “Dhaanam” is more significant than Tapas in this particular way. Now we shall continue this discussion further and witness certain important aspects pertaining to “Dhaanam”. 

Now we would have one question in our mind here – If someone is helping us at a time when we are in dire need, and at a later stage if we’re helping that same person again with something when he / she is in a dire need, can this be called “Dhaanam”? For instance, I’m having an urgent medical expense at my home and one of my friends is coming forward to bare that enormous medical cost at the dire time! After a few months or years, this same friend of mine is having an unexpected expenditure, for which I’m helping him back. I’m bearing his complete expenditure at this critical time of his. Can this be called “Dhaanam”? The answer is “No”! This phenomenon is called “Prathyupakaaram”. The word “Upakaaram” means help, which signifies the help that I had obtained from my friend earlier. Now I’m helping him back, which is called “Prathyupakaaram”. This cannot be equated to “Dhaanam”. The reason is very simple here – I’m immediately coming forward to help this person, just because he had helped me earlier. Maybe, if he wouldn’t have come forward to help me at that critical point in time, perhaps today when he is facing a difficulty, I may have refrained from going forward and helping him, isn’t it? Hence, this relationship of helping each other comes with some sort of an expectation from each other – If I help him today, he will help me tomorrow! However, when we’re offering a “Dhaanam”, we are offering something without any expectation from anyone! Whereas, “Prathyupakaaram” is something that comes out of expectation. This is where we’ve to understand the difference very clearly. “Dhaanam” comes without any expectation from anyone and “Prathyupakaaram” comes with fulfilment of an expectation earlier! 

Moreover, there is also a certain level of parameter that we need to satisfy when we’re offering a “Dhaanam”. We cannot offer something just like that and term it as “Dhaanam”. There is a designated place, designated time at which we’ve to perform the “Dhaanam”. Moreover, the person to whom we’re offering the “Dhaanam”, should also be a deserving candidate to obtain the “Dhaanam” from us. He / she should exhibit austerity to the highest level, be clean and tidy, should be strong in his / her spiritual practices everyday, etc. If we’re offering the “Dhaanam” to such people, only then it would bear the desired fruit. Else, it doesn’t! On the other hand, just because we’ve to give something to someone, can we equate giving a bribe to someone as a “Dhaanam”? Definitely not! When we’re giving a bribe, it again satisfies an expectation! We’re offering a bribe to someone because that person is expected to finish some task seamlessly for us without any hiccups. Again, the role of expectations comes in! Hence, we need to be very careful here! 

So for today, let us once again understand the significance of “Dhaanam” and let us also understand the rules and regulations pertaining to offering the “Dhaanam” to someone. We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂

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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