Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Monday, October 6, 2014

Anna Danam Maha Danam

Anna Danam

We are all blessed with all comforts in life. A house to live, a vehicle to travel, sumptuous  food to eat, clothes to wear, money to save for the future and the ability to spend for any cause. W
hatever we have, we have it in excess. And when we have something in excess, it is always good to share with our fellow human beings – the less privileged. Hinduism is a champion when it comes to charity. The charity or Danam can be through vidya danam (sharing knowledge), sampatti danam (donating money), vastra danam (donating clothes) or anna danam (donating food).

Man is never satisfied with money. The more we get, the more we want. This leads to more greed and fear. On the other hand, knowledge obtained gives more satisfaction. Like money, the more we get, the more we want. But this process of acquiring more Vidya is not termed as greed. We call it “thirst”. By giving away knowledge, we get more knowledge. Knowledge cannot be robbed unlike money or wealth. Any kind of charity always increase the thirst. Man always wants more and more. But there is only one thing in this world which man forces himself to say “enough” and that is food. Luckily GOD has given a limited size of stomach so that however greedy the tongue gets, the stomach forbids the greed. Food or annam is the only charity where people get completely satisfied. There are no chances of any complaint or comparison with anyone when it comes to giving food. And it is considered to be one of the greatest danams. Man can live without clothes, house, education but food is an everyday need and a man without food goes to the extent of even begging in order to fill his hunger. Our Vedas have extolled anna danam as: 
Annadānam Samam Dānam Trilokeshu Na Vidhathe. There is no greater charity than donating food.

Our Kanchi paramacharya Shri. Shri. Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal was a champion of this anna danam. He devised a wonderful way or feeding the poor. This was called a “pidi arisi “ scheme where every householder would drop a handful of rice in a vessel on a daily basis. The rice collected at the end of a certain period would be used to cook food and serve the poor.

LAHARI also tried following this initiative for the first time. All the children of LAHARI were asked to drop a handful of rice and a spoon of dal on a daily basis. This was done for 15 days. We were able to collect 15 Kgs of rice and 5 Kgs of dal for this purpose. The rice and dal thus collected were delivered to a cook who cooked bisibele bath and curd rice. We don’t need any auspicious day to donate. However, our plan coincided with Dussera. The cooked food was given as a day’s lunch to the maintenance staff and security of our White House Apartment.   

The intention was to generate a social awareness among children towards charity. When there is a conscious effort in executing a good cause, it stays with us for long. It actually motivates us to repeat the act.  This initiative was well received by parents and children. It was an effortless exercise for all of them. The diligence and discipline that the children followed was remarkable. The annam danam was successfully done on 27th September, 2014.By the undiminishing grace of Paramacharya, we hope to make this an annual event. Thanks to all parents and children who participated and made it a success. May the Guru’s blessings be with you all. 



  1. What a commendable initiative! I believe it is a virtue of an adult to imbibe such noble acts in children. The scheme can be continued throughout the year and the children may be made to serve with their own tiny hands.

  2. These kind of good thoughts and deeds are really commendable Vasudha and much appreciated !