yat tu pratyupakārārthaḿ
phalam uddiśya vā punaḥ
dīyate ca parikliṣṭaḿ
tad dānaḿ rājasaḿ smṛtam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.21
But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Charity is sometimes performed for elevation to the heavenly kingdom and sometimes with great trouble and with repentance afterwards: “Why have I spent so much in this way?” Charity is also sometimes given under some obligation, at the request of a superior. These kinds of charity are said to be given in the mode of passion.
There are many charitable foundations which offer their gifts to institutions where sense gratification goes on. Such charities are not recommended in the Vedic scripture. Only charity in the mode of goodness is recommended.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Pariklistam (reluctance) means that one repents after giving the charity, thinking “Why is it necessary to give so much money?” Or it can mean that though not desiring to give, one gives charity only because the guru or someone else ordered him to do so. Or it can mean to use inauspicious items, since one did not do the charity willingly.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
17.21 That gift which is given grudgingly, viz., gift of useless things with a sly expectation of something in return that is said to be gift of Rajasa nature.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Continuing Lord Krishna explains that the danam or charity that is given with the intention of gaining something in return, with a desire to enjoy some benefit or to receive some service, or with the wish to achieve some goal such as the heavenly planets is said to be in raja guna the mode of passion. Also included in raja guna is danam which is given grudgingly or reluctantly.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna explains the danam or charity that is given in raja guna the mode of passion. The danam that is given reluctantly, that is given grudgingly, that is given with the desire of receiving something in return or that is given with the hope of gaining a reward in the next life such as promotion to the heavenly planets is known to be firmly situated in raja guna. The particle tu meaning however indicates that this mentality is inferior to that of those situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
17.21 Tu, but; the danam, gift; yat, which; diyate, is made; prati-upakara-artham, expecting reciprocation-with this purpose in view: ‘In time, he will render service in return’-; va punah, or again; uddisya, with a desire for; its phalam, result-that, ‘To me will accrue some unseen reward of this gift’-; and which is diyate, given; pariklistam, grudgingly, with reluctance; tat, that; is smrtam, considered to be; rajasam, born of rajas.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
17.20-22 Datavyam etc. upto udahrtam. With the thought that ‘One must give’ : thinking that the [scriptural] injunction ‘One must give’ is to be obeyed in order to avoid sin. Very much vexed : because of the fault of [giving] very little. A gift is converted into a bad one by offending its recipient, and so on. Thus the activities of the worldly men are explained on the basis of their three-fold intentions born of the Sattva and so on. How do those persons perform actions, whose intellect has gone beyond the region, that is impassable because of the triad of the Strands ? Now that manner is described as –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yat tu pratyupakarartham
phalam uddisya va punah
diyate ca pariklistam
tad danam rajasam smrtam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yat — that which; tu — but; prati-upakāra-artham — for the sake of getting some return; phalam — a result; uddiśya — desiring; vā — or; punaḥ — again; dīyate — is given; ca — also; parikliṣṭam — grudgingly; tat — that; dānam — charity; rājasam — in the mode of passion; smṛtam — is understood to be.