Wand Chhakna / Wand Ke Chhakna
Share the earnings with less fortunate, sick, diseased, dying and needy people.
Sikhism is unique religion of the new age. It is known for very special concept of Wand Chhakna. It is a concept of giving something out of the bounties bestowed by God for the welfare of needy, less fortunate and deserving people. It is a concept of co-operative and corporate living. It is a concept of serving each other without selfish motives and sharing wealth and the knowledge of God with each other. It is a concept to eliminate poverty of mind and body. It is a concept for social and economic equality through social responsibility. It tantamounts to sharing of earnings, physical labor, wealth, God given wisdom and knowledge for welfare of human beings as a whole without discrimination of caste, colour, creed and gender.
Sikhism believes in equal distribution of the fruits of labor. It believes in helping people in need. A Sikh must serve the humanity without any motive of gain. He must help those who cannot help themselves. A Sikh is duty bound to share his food and earnings with needy, sick and poor people but there should be no ego of contributing in charity. Sikhism believes that charity is given only by God and human beings have just to share the boon given by God.
Wand Chhakna is an important ingredient in the Sikh way of life. A Sikh must see the whole world as one family and this strengthens the Sikh principle of universal brotherhood of human beings. Sikhs are ordained to contribute voluntary payment of tithes for Guru Ka Langar, construction of Gurdwara buildings, Kar Seva of holy pools, schools, hospitals for sick and general uplift of the humanity as a whole.
The charity money is used for imparting the professional education in the area of engineering and medical fields to the people to eliminate poverty among human beings. There are numerous schools and colleges run by the Sikh organizations including Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Amritsar which are engaged in helping the people to lead a life of prosperity.
Guru Nanak Dev established Langar or the temple of bread in his home to feed the visitors. Volunteers used to prepare and serve the vegetarian food in Langar. No meat, alcohol or tobacco was allowed to be served or used in the Langar. This created a sense of equality, brotherhood and oneness.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji introduced the contribution of one-tenth of one’s earnings in the service of the community. (Hari Ram Gupta V-1; p 426) This custom is still very dear to the Sikhs. Every Sikh would feel his obligation to pay out of his earnings towards the service of sick, needy and the poor. The Sikhs are proud of this concept as this concept of charity is rarely seen in other communities of the world.
It is general experience that rich people give money in charity out of their Haumai. They want that they should be seen in the society as philanthropists and benefactors of charity.
The teachings of Sikhism do not want a Sikh to behave as a benefactor of the poor. It emphasis that the principle of Wand Chhakna should be considered as Shukrana of the Creator. The Sikh should feel that it is his duty to help the needy, sick and poor. He should not take pride to have served the less fortunate as their benefactor and protector.
Sikhism believes that every Sikh is a member of the universal brotherhood and every member should live in prosperity. A Sikh is required to care for others and share their grief. The Sikh should feel pleasure in sharing the honest earnings with less fortunate and the poor so that it should not create Haumai for charity but it should inculcate a spirit of responsibility towards needy, sick and poor. This is the reason that Sikhs are never seen as beggars. Wherever they live, they live in prosperity under Hukam of the Guru.
“The unique Lord is the Bestower. He is the Giver to all. In His giving, there is no stint.”
ਦਦਾ ਦਾਤਾ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਕਉ ਦੇਵਨਹਾਰ ॥
ਦੇਂਦੇ ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਅਗਨਤ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥
Guru Nanak Dev says,
“Charity should be dispensed with wisdom.”
………ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ ਦਾਨੁ
Guru Nanak Dev Ji says,
“The generous give but a little in charity; but demand a thousand fold return, with worldly honor to boot.”
ਦੇ ਦੇ ਮੰਗਹਿ ਸਹਸਾ ਗੂਣਾ ਸੋਭ ਕਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ
Guru Amar Das says,
“He who labors hard, earns honestly and gives something in charity with his hands, he, O’ Nanak, has found out the path of Truth.”
ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥
The recitation of Nam helps disciples realize that they are members of the human brotherhood. This thought creates in them feelings of kindness and love for those who need their help. As a consequence, they enjoy sharing their earnings with those less fortunate. The Guru advises them that it is their duty to share their earnings with the needy just as it is the duty of parents to supply their children with clothing and other necessities.
This sharing must be done out of a sense of responsibility, and not of pride. A person can judge their closeness to God by sharing their bread with the needy. If this can be done without feeling as if they are doing someone a favor, then they are on the right path and are close to God.
Some broadcast their contributions and feel proud of their “benefactor”image. It is this ego (ahankar) that denies them the spiritual benefits obtained by remaining humble.