One of Hinduism's greatest philosophical contributions is the emphasis on charity and service. From the earliest texts, the Vedas, dana or alms, has been cherished for obtaining self-realization and salvation. Kindness and compassion to all living things or daya is often combined with bhakthi or devotion to God.

Hinduism recognizes both masculine and feminine deities, where an individual is free to worship in the way he or she wants. The importance of service is also present in other texts such as the Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. The ancient Tamil poet, Tirukkural, wrote many poems and phrases on charitable acts.


"Acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be abandoned, but should be performed because sacrifice, charity and austerity are the purifiers of the wise." Bhagavad Gita 10.05

"Relieving the ravaging hunger of the poor is the most secure use of a rich man's wealth." Tirukurral 226

"The Divinities rejoice when somebody's happiness owes another's sacrifice given voluntarily."Maha Narayan Upanishad 4, 78

"There is none other who does greater good than the one who removes the hunger of those in a difficult situation, helpless, weak and disturbed."  Mahabharata XIII.59.1P

Principles of Karma Yoga 

1) Offer all work to God and Goddess, or to a higher power.

2) Let the Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles, guide your karma yoga.  

3) Act selflessly, detached from the results and be humble at all times. 

4) Do your best and always strive for improvement.

5) Be industrious and ambitious. 

6) Refrain from disagreements, criticism of others, cynicism, blame and other negative emotions. 

7) Stay focused on the central task. 

8) Align your will with the Divine Will. 

9) Enjoy the effort by being positive, free of worry, and relax!