The sacred daan (donation) of gold
One of the most distinguished aspects of rich Indian culture is “Daan” (donations), noble act that has been adopted by every religious and spiritual Indian since ancient era. The motives behind Daan are diverse, as are the ceremonies and rituals to perform the donations.
The Daan ceremony is a grand event in which the donations are made followed by a feast for the relatives and guests. It is believed that the money donations give fruits up to one life only, however, Gold, land, and Kanya Daan (a ritual in Hindu wedding of giving away the daughter) gives fruits up to seven lives.
The yellow metal is considered incorruptible and auspicious; a gold donation is regarded as one of the most respected Daan. In this article, we bring you the various types of Daan involving gold donation according to the ancient Hindu texts. These Daans are part of the sixteen Maha Daan mentioned in the Vedic texts.
- Tula Purush Daan
In this Daan, the donor or the person will sit on one side of the weighing scale with full body armour and weapons, while pure gold is on the other side of the scale. The weight may attain 125-200 kilograms. This pure gold is donated to the Brahmins present in the ceremony. The golden weighing scale which is used for this ceremony is also donated to the Brahmins.
- Hiranyagarbha Daan
Donation of a golden pot which represents the divine womb; the pot should be 54 inches tall and 36 inches wide with a golden lid. Around 40-50 kgs of the yellow metal is required to construct this pot which is filled with ghee and milk.
- Brahmand Daan
This involves the donation of a replica of our universe crafted with gold. This miniature can range from 1.25 kg to 62.2 kg, according to the donor’s will and capacity. After the ceremony, the miniature is divided into ten parts, of which two are donated to the Guru (teacher) and rest are distributed to the Brahmins.
- Kalp-Padap Daan
In this Daan, the person gives a golden miniature of Kalpavriksha (a wish-fulfilling divine tree). This tree should be decorated with fruits, flowers, birds, ornaments and even garments. The golden tree is donated to the Guru and his disciples. Similarly, Kalp-Lata Daan involves the donation of ten divine creepers, including Kalpavriksha, which are decorated with fruits and ornaments.
- Hiranya Kaamdhenu Daan
Kamadhenu is the divine cow, regarded as the cow of plenty and the mother of all cows. The Daan ceremony involves donating a golden miniature of Kamadhenu with a suckling calf. This cow is decorated with gold ornaments.
- Hiranya Ashv Raath Daan
The donor constructs a golden replica of a chariot with two to eight horses. The horses are adorned with gold ornaments. Similarly, a Daan of a chariot drawn by four elephants is called Hem Hasti Rath Daan.
- Dhara Daan
Dhara is the holy mother Earth; this Daan requires a golden miniature of earth depicting the sacred rivers, mountains and oceans.
- Sapt Sagar Daan
Seven gold pots filled with sugar, salt, milk, ghee, curd, jaggery and sacred water are donated. These pots represent the seven symbolic oceans.
These are few ways of doing Daan, that involves the donation of gold to the Gurus, the Brahmins or other respected people. They showcase the rich and royal culture of India.