Journal of Human Values 19 (1):65-71 (2013)

In this article, I will attempt to link altruism, a concern of Positive Psychology, a recent branch of psychology, and dāna, the deeply entrenched aspect of Indian thought. These aspects strive towards a connection with the self and well-being. In addition, an association between Indian psychological attributes, especially with reference to the Mahābhārata, and Positive Psychology will be shown. In the Indian context, dāna or the act of giving involves not merely the act of giving material or tangible goods or objects but also involves doing an act, doing something for others in which one has no stake or claim. In other words, the giving involves giving something from the depths of oneself, for the ‘good’ of another, without expecting anything in return. The cultivation of generosity facilitates a pliancy of mind that allows for the eradication of delusion of a limited self as well as disables greed and hate. In addition to anna-dāna, jala-dāna, bhūmi-dāna, vidyā-dāna and jnana-dāna, the Mahābhārata also talks about sharing with love and affection. A desire for good is a desire for self-satisfaction, bearing a positive therapeutic value for a better, truer, more real self.
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DOI 10.1177/0971685812470338
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References found in this work BETA

Altruism Versus Self-Interest: Sometimes a False Dichotomy.Neera Kapur Badhwar - 1993 - Social Philosophy and Policy 10 (1):90-117.
Adaptationism, Culture, and the Malleability of Human Nature.Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2008 - In Peter Caruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind, Volume 3. Oxford University Press.
Basics of Spiritual Altruism.Sangeetha Menon - 2007 - Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 39 (2):137-152.

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