Prasad, bhet, akshat and daan are different names for giving.
Daan means charity. Any giving by a householder is known as daan.
Prasad means an offering of goodwill. Any giving that happens in a temple, church or ashram is known as prasad. This offering or present carries good wishes for one’s health, happiness, prosperity and peace.
Bhet means gift. It is given to people not for their pleasure or enjoyment but because of their need.
Akshat means a never-ending gift. It is referred to grains. It is used in relation to Yagna, because in Yagna everything is offered to Devi, the Universal Mother. What is offered to Devi becomes a never-ending gift, an unending stream just like a river. What is received is the continuous flow of the grace.
Swami Niranjanananda’s definition of giving as described in the Vedas.
Christmas is coming
It is a beautiful time of year, when gifts are exchanged and there is joy in one’s heart. What if we apply these words in reality.
Give a daan to people who need it. Maybe share your Christmas meal with them. Toys and cookies for the children who have none. Visit an Oma or Opa, nana or granny/grandpa in a home. Listen to them and share your cakes and love.
Prasad is what we receive after prayers, one can make cookies and take them to the parish. Give Bhet (gifts) to persons, who need them. It is according to your pocket. Akshat is a Yagna and if we performed a Yagna, we may be able to restore equanimity.
It is not difficult to apply the principle of giving. Just look at the shops everywhere, they are full. Begging one to purchase the beautiful and useless things in the shop windows. The songs that are playing promise good cheer. Give it a serious thought when you buy gifts and see that you can at least apply one of these categories in giving.
Aim Hrim Klim