adeśa-kāle yad dānam
apātrebhyaś ca dīyate
tat tāmasam udāhṛtam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.22
And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons, or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Contributions for indulgence in intoxication and gambling are not encouraged here. That sort of contribution is in the mode of ignorance. Such charity is not beneficial; rather, sinful persons are encouraged. Similarly, if a person gives charity to a suitable person but without respect and without attention, that sort of charity is also said to be in the mode of darkness.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The result of disregard (avajnatam) is offence (asat krtam).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
17.22 That gift which is given to unworthy recipients at wrong place and time, without due respect, viz., without showing such signs of respect as cleansing the feet; with contempt, viz., with disdain and without courtesy — that is said to be of Tamasa nature. So far, the divisions due to differences of Gunas in respect of sacrifices, austerities and gifts as enjoined by the Vedas have been portrayed. Now is given the definition of Vedic sacrifices etc., according to their association with Pranava (i.e., the syllable Om), and as signified by the terms Tat and Sat.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Concluding this theme Lord Krishna states that the danam or charity in tama guna or the mode of ignorance is that which is given at the wrong place meaning that which is not revealed as holy or sacred in the Vedic scriptures. Danam given at the wrong time is like at sunset which is the time when ghosts and demons become active or when the astrological calculations are not favourable. Danam given to unworthy persons such as those masquerading as spiritual teachers who are not even conscious enough to be vegetarian and other charlatans who pretend they are spiritual but in reality they have no knowledge of the atma the immortal soul, they have no knowledge of how to even get themselves out of samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death and have no knowledge of the Vedic scriptures or devotion to Lord Krishna. Even if accidently they are in a proper place and by chance give danam at a proper time to a worthy recipient. Those in tama guna give it without proper regard and do so without observing the proper etiquette warranted one so worthy. They will not be hospitable. They will act haughty and not bow down and offer respects. If they are rich they will disdainfully give a large amount of wealth but in a contemptuous way like they are doing the holy saint a favour. All this is danam situated in tama guna.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Here Lord Krishna speaks of the danam or charity characterised by tama guna the mode of ignorance. The danam which is given at an improper place such as a city where cows are slaughtered and inhabited by degraded and unrighteous people like mlecchas or meat eaters. The danam that is given at an improper time such as the 48 minutes of twilight or during the astrological influence of the nakshatras or stars Ashlesha, Jyeshtha and Mool. The danam that is given to unworthy recipients such as charlatans, fools, pretenders, entertainers, etc. The danam given in an insulting, complacent or pretentious manner even if given to a worthy recipient at a proper time and place is spoiled due to a lack of respect and regard along with the absence of etiquette in honouring such a one and lack of faith in the absolute authority of the Vedic scriptures and so must languish in the mire of tama guna along with the aforementioned improprieties.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
17.22 Tat, that; danam, gift; yat, which; diyate, is given; adesakale, at an improper place and time-in an unholy place full of barbarians and impure things, etc.; at an improper time: which is not well known as productive of merit; without such specially as Sankranti etc.-; and apatrebhyah, to undeserving persons, to fools, thieves and others;-and even when the place etc. are proper-asatkrtam, without proper treatment, without sweet words, washing of feet, worship, etc.; and avajnatam, with disdain, with insults to the recipient; is udahrtam, declared to be; tamasam, born of tamas. This advice is being imparted for making sacrifices, gifts, austerities, etc. perfect:
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:
adesa-kale yad danam
apatrebhyas ca diyate
tat tamasam udahrtam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
adeśa — at an unpuriﬁed place; kāle — and unpuriﬁed time; yat — that which; dānam — charity; apātrebhyaḥ — to unworthy persons; ca — also; dīyate — is given; asat-kṛtam — without respect; avajñātam — without proper attention; tat — that; tāmasam — in the mode of darkness; udāhṛtam — is said to be.