Money is often seen as a dirty thing in the world of spirituality when in actuality money and spiritual study are coming from the same source. The simple energetic exchange of money and teachings brings balance and harmony.
Dakṣiṇa (दक्षिण) refers to the “offering of a gift”.
Dakṣiṇa is usually offered after a spiritual teacher, practitioner, or holy person has made an offering to you. These offerings are usually in the realm of energy and spirit and therefore cannot be physically measured. This makes evaluating their worth impossible and it can make knowing how much to donate a difficult thing to decide.
In Hindu Society, Dakṣiṇa is considered a necessary part of completing the spiritual practice. When we give Dakṣiṇa after receiving spiritual teachings, a retreat, a course, or a ceremony it is considered a way to finalize the practice and invest in our spiritual journey. If we receive without giving back there is an energetic imbalance. It is understood that Dakṣiṇa is an energetic exchange that brings balance and cultivates the proper space for us to fully receive all of the teachings/ceremony etc.
Spiritual scriptures tell us that we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to authentically pursue a spiritual life. We make emotional sacrifices by offering our prayers and mental sacrifices through meditation and focus. We also must make physical sacrifices through the offering of money or goods.
So how do we decide how much to donate?
There is no amount that can be too small or too great. Any exchange it the right exchange. However, it should feel to some degree like a bit of a sacrifice. Maybe it is a sacrifice of the cost of your morning coffee, or extra groceries, or a part of your savings. A sacrifice should, however, not feel pain or put you at a disadvantage.
Sacrifice comes from two parts sacra (sacred things) and facere (to do or perform). To make a sacrifice is to perform a sacred act and sacrifice implies “doing without something” or “giving something up”. So the question is not really what were these teachings worth? But what are you willing to do without in order to receive the full benefits of the teachings which are, in themselves, invaluable.
The Ashram is completely off-grid and surrounded by 100 acres of untouched natural wilderness. We are 2 hours away from the nearest town and live in the ‘north country’. We have a strong spiritual practice that we share with all who come here.
If you recognize the urgency to create a more spiritual and ecological culture, please support this unique project.
By contributing financially, you join a valued group of visionary leaders who are ensuring this new model of a peaceful world can be fully realized. You enable us to offer more scholarships to needy students, to reach out to more people globally, and to begin new projects to help more people live in alignment.