By Swami Harshananda
Giving gifts has always been considered as a sacred act. It helps the donor to destroy his sins or to attain higher worlds after death or to get any other result he desires. The dharmaśāstras have listed certain gifts as mahādānas or great gifts. They may be ten as per some works and sixteen as per others.
- Two pans of gold to represent the dome of heaven above and the earth below of specified dimensions
- The figures of eight diggajas (mythical elephants guarding the eight quarters)
- The lokapālas (rulers of the various worlds and of Brahmā in the middle of them)
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore