If you grew up going to church, I’m sure you are familiar with “tithing.” Many of us remember the basket being passed around the congregation, and feeling drawn to contribute (whether out of love or guilt). Dasvandh is the Sikh version of tithing. Literally, it means “tenth part”, because it is a special kind of tithing. Dasvandh asks that you give 10% of your earnings back to the Universe.
But why would anyone give away 10% of their earnings in this crazy economy?
1. Trust: Dasvandh develops a trusting relationship with the Universe. There’s this expression that I grew up with that goes: “no favor goes unpunished.” When I believed this, it was true. I thought the more I gave the more life would step on me. Now I realize that giving is a prosperity technology. If you trust in the Universal flow, giving gives back to you. The Universe works mysteriously, but it also works graciously. Learning to trust that you will be taken care of is a huge part of why Dasvandh works to create more prosperity.
2. Fun: Setting aside a set portion of your income as “to be given away” is actually really fun. Getting thank you notes from charities—especially when you know the people running them—absolutely lights up my day. There is nothing quite like giving to put a smile on my face.
3. Because It’s the New Normal: Every year we do this thing where we count up our income and pay the government a huge portion of our earnings for the year. That’s normal, right? What if you had the same idea about giving to good causes? It would certainly be a lot easier to give. If giving 10% of your earnings away is the new normal, you don’t even consider that 10% to be yours in the first place. Plus, you get to go on a charity shopping spree. (Wait, should that be under the “Fun” heading?)
Ok, so you want to give? Here are some tips:
1. Think Local: I don’t trust huge philanthropic organizations, so I only donate to organizations I have a personal relationship with. That way, I know exactly where the money is going. For example, when I donate to Y.O.G.A. for Youth, I know that my money is paying for classes because I’ve taught for them!
2. Subscribe: Many organizations have a subscription option. This makes giving a total no brainer. You set it up to automatically withdraw money from your account. It doesn’t have to be a lot and it’s so easy. Come on, $5 a month is about 17 cents a day.
3. Kickstarter: Many of us (myself included) have benefited from a website called Kickstarter to fund our music projects. The website acts as an intermediary to connect artists with patrons. Even a $1 donation can help get someone realize their dream. You can browse through thousands of projects and pick the ones that speak to you.
4. Start Your Own Charitable Fund: Know a struggling musician who could use a new instrument, a child who needs new shoes, or a school that needs a new auditorium? You can start your own fundraising project by creating a separate bank account for your Dasvandh and giving it away when you’ve reached your goal. My personal fund is to pay for someone’s yoga teacher training.