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THE CONCEPT OF PUNYA DAN

SALFIVIC OFFERING
INTRODUCTION
Many religions and cults admit the problem of sin, but their answer is to seek salvation
from sin through good works or by keeping rules and laws. The Christians Bible teaches that
Jesus Christ redeemed us from sin by dying on the cross To illustrate, suppose you have to go
to court for speeding, but you do not end up paying the fine. You learn that it has been paid by
someone else possibly good old Dad or rich Uncle Charley. Getting your fine paid by someone
else partially illustrates justification, but God goes one important step further.
What is that payment which God paid? How God paid the payment? Why and for whom
God paid it? Was it Punya Dan? If it is Punya Dan, what is the outcome of it? Is Gods Punya
Dan is an imperishable or perishable? What does religions teaches about Punya Dan? There are
various views from various religions on Punya Dan that refers to different meaning. However,
the writer would like to discus on meaning and views of Punya dan from general, religious and
biblical perfective. The Concluding point hangs on the imperishable offering of Jesus Chris.

I. MEANING AND DEFINITION OF PUNYA DAN.


Meaning: Punya (Holy) Word most often used as noun to mean religious merit
sometime to denote the religious distinction arising from a particular deed but more often to refer
to the collective body of religious merit one has accumulated through good deeds in ones
Karmic career. This Karmic merit is opposite to the Pap (Sin) and the sin opposite is Moksha
(Salvation). Religious merits decide either to receive Moksha by Punya Dan (Offering) or Kaam
(Deed) or will to rebirth into some other dehumanize form.
Punya originally was accrued by sponsoring or performing sacrifices, by giving to
Brahmins or by giving of appropriate charity to others. As Hinduism developed, fasting and
pilgrimages became additional means of acquiring punya, along with general good works.
Punya Dan is good offering which leads ultimate to get moksha.
II. RELIGIOUS VIEWS OF PUNYA DAN
This world filled with multifold of religion here and there. All major religions teach
about earning salvation through good merit or Punya Dan. The idea of Punya Dan is based on
offering to religious gurus, giving offering to the gods and goddesses and doing charityetc.
A. Hindu View of Punya Dan.
According to view of Hinduism the word Punya has varieties of meaning such as virtue,
holy, righteous, sacredetc. Some Hundus consider that the good charity/sacrifice leads to the
Punya and this punya is not Moksa but very near pathway to the Moksh. Some others say
good charity/sacrifice leads to attain the Punya in terms of righteousness and few others say
that Dan diya toh Punya Milta hai (If you give charity/sacrifice then you will get salvation or
righteousness. Ultimately people think of Moksha in terms of giving sacrifice or showing charity
to the priests or to the poor people. The concept of Punya dan indicates to the purity of an
individual either by performing good works or giving sacrifice to gods or goddesses.
B. Muslim View of Salvific Offering/Punya Dan
The Word punya dan is not there in Islam but the concept of offering is being taught in
the scripture in relation to salvation. Allah Says, If you give charity openly then what a good
thing it is; and if you give to beggars hidingly, it is better for you than everything, and he will
remove some of yours sings. And Allah is aware of what you do (Quran 2:271). Muslim gives
charity as it is their duty toward poor in response to Allahs command. Even Muslim does
practice animal sacrifice on the occasion of Eid Ul Adha. Some considered this sacrifice to
please Allah and other practice in remembering Abrahams offering of his son to God.
C. Buddhist View of Punya Dan
The Buddhists consider Punya as the extraordinary force that confer happiness, as a
spiritual merit which is the one of the ten forms balas (source of strength) to a bodhisattva. They
hold the believe that charity leads to the accumulation of punya or a happier rebirth on earth or a
long sojourn in heaven.
D. Jains Vies of Punya Dan,
Jainism teaches that the wholesome karma is Punya. When one attains wholesome
karmas, it is called PunyaThere are nine causes mentioned in Sthanang Sutra (a Jain Angam)
that result in Punya. Five of them are proving the necessities to the Jain ascetics. Offering of
food, water, shelter, bed and clothes to Jain ascetics (Sanyami - one who practice self-restrain)
are acts of Punya. Such offerings are helpful to those who have resorted to the spiritual path.
Good thought, words (speech) and physical activities are also causes of Punya The term
adopted by most Acharaya (Sunyasi-ascetics, or Priest) is offering to right people (Supatra).
Right people include Jain ascetics as well as the householders who are practicing self-restraints,
and are perusing the path of liberation, and are in need of help.
E. Sikh View of Punya Dan.
There is no such concept of punya dan in Sikhism but it talks about an offering that leads
to the peace of mind. The Guru Granth invites the Sikhs to partake of its offerings, its three
delicacies of truth, contentment, and contemplation. Through them followers may understand
the fundamental essence of the universe, satisfy spiritual hunger, and anchor the relentless mind
and spirit in contemplation. Intellectual understanding is not enough for complete fulfillment,
however, the offerings are also to be savored and enjoyed. On the other hand, Sikhs belief that
the salvation can be attained through good works.

III. BIBLICAL VIEW ON PUNYA DAN & MOKSH DAN


Is there the concept of Punya Dan and Moksh Dan in the Bible? Why are those five
offering offered to God in the Old Testament? Does New Testament speak about Punya Dan or
salvific offering?
A. Old Testament Offering
Leviticus 1-7 introduces those sacrifices that made possible renewed fellowship between
God and His peopleBurnt Offering (Lev. 6:8-13), elements in burnt offering were presented as
Bull, ram, male goat, male doveetc without blemish and it was voluntary offering signifies
propitiation for sin and complete devotion to God. Grain offering also called meal offering (Lev.
6:14-23), elements in grain offering were presented as flour, bread, and grain unleavened and it
was voluntary offering signifies thanksgiving for first fruits. Fellowship offering also called
peace offering (Lev. 7:11-36), the element in peace offering was presented as any animal without
blemished and was done voluntary symbolizes fellowship with God. Signifies thankfulness for a
specific blessing and offers a ritual expression of a vow. These above three are voluntary
offerings.
The sin (Purification) offering (Lev.4:1-5:13) provided atonement for accidental sin,
since transgression is not limited to intentional disobedience. It is done due to unintentional
sin. The elements in this offering Male of female animals without blemish as follow: bull for
high priest and congregation; male goat for king; female goat or lamb for common personetc.
It was mandatory made by one who had sinned unintentionally or was unclean in order to attain
purification. Guilt offering (Lev. 5:14-67; 7:1-6; 14:12-18), the elements in guilt offering were
Ram or lamb without blemish offered and it was mandatory made by a person who had either
deprived another of his rights or had desecrated something holy. Mainly, sin and guilt offering
were offered for the purpose of receiving forgiveness of unintentional sin. These offerings were
presented with full conviction of heart felt sorry not just for the name sake. It was done with true
repentance and commitment. These offerings were temporary those pointed to the permanent
offering yet to come. All are shadow of permanent and salvific offering (Moksh Dan) of Jesus
Christ. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of things,
can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers
thereunto perfect (Hebrew 10:1 KJV).
B. New Testament Offering
And she will have a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (meaning Savior), for He will
save His people from their sinsJesus came to earth to save us because we cannot save
ourselves from sin and its consequences. Jesus became the high priest and offered himself as a
permanent Punya Dan or Moksh Dan offering once for all. But in these sacrifice, there is
reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away
sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said,

Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired


But a body has you prepared for me;
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You have no pleasure
Then He said, Lo, I come to do your will, O God.
He taken away the first that He may establish the second.
(Hebrew 10:3-6; 9).

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same
sacrifices, which can never take away sins It was necessary, then, for the copies of the
heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices But Christ did not enter a man-made
sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself Nor did he enter
heaven to offer again and againBut now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to
do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrew 10:10, 11; 23-24; 25a). God made him
(Jesus) who had no sin to be sin (sin offering) for us, so that in Him we might become the
righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of
many people (Hebrew 10:28a).
We are not redeemed by the perishable things such gold or silver but through precious
blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).

So Christ is the Permanent &


Imperishable Punya Dan or
Moksh Dan, who sacrificed
Himslef to save Sinners.

CONCLUSION
General and religious view of salvation can be obtained through good work or sacrifices
of goods to gods and goddesses at the temple and as well to the needy people. Some religious
people think that the punya dan is moksh dan which in result receives salvation and some of
other religious people belief that Punya Dan is holy offering which leads to the path of moksh or
salvation. These views are connected with good works and offerings of goods to the gods and
goddesses. People try to get punya or salvation in these religions but Bible teaches that the Christ
Jesus came to seek and save the Lost. Christ Jesus, Himself sacrificed on the cross to save
sinners. It is Christ Jesus who became sin offering and offered himself on the cross to redeem the
sinners.
Now no need of any offerings to be saved but just faith in Jesus can forgive a sinner from
all sins. Jesus is the only one who paid the Punya Dan/Moksh Dan for entire Humanity and
therefore whosoever belief in Him will receive eternal Life (John 3:16).

ENDNOTES:
Book & Encyclopedia:
Constance A. Jones & James D. Ryan, Encyclopedia of Hinduism, In Encyclopedia of World
Religions, 336-337.
David S. Docke, GE., Holman Bible Handbook, 153-154.
Fritz Ridenour, So Whats the Difference, 25-26.
Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book, 47.
James G. Lochtefold, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 532.
Neil S. Wilson, ed., The Handbook of Bible Application, 547.
Nikki Guninder Singh, World Religions: Sikhism Third Edition, 50.
Online:
International Islamic Web, Charity in Islam, (Article On-Line); Available from
www.alahazrat.net/islam/charity-in-islam.php; Internet accessed on 17/02/2017.
-------------------, Punya, (Wikipedia On-line); Available from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punya_(Hinduism); Internet accessed on 08/02/2017.
-------------------, Punya and Pap, (wholesome Karma and unwholesome karma); Available
from www.jainbelief.com/PPOJ/16.htm; Internet accessed on 08 /02/2017.