Almost every religion or spiritual group encourages its participants to give a tenth of their earnings to help support and build the religious and spiritual community. While tithing through Dasvandh is traditionally one-tenth of one’s income, many people give whatever amount they can.

Dasvandh, which literally means “tenth part,” is the tithing practice of contributing a portion of your earnings in the name of your Guru or spiritual source. Sikhs believe that if you give to the Infinite, Infinity, in turn, will give back to you. Dasvandh is a spiritual practice through which you build trust in the ability of the Infinite to respond to the flow of love and energy that you give. Sikhs believe that this energy then expands tenfold and flows back to you in abundance.

Sikhs began bringing offerings during the time of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak (1469-1539) the founder of the Sikh Path. Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru, started the formal tradition of a free kitchen and serving langar (blessed food) to everyone, as equals regardless of race, class, gender, faith and ethnicity. He called upon his Sikhs to bring a portion of their crops and earnings to share in the community kitchen.

During the time of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, the Sikh community fell upon difficult financial times. Sikh leaders became so concerned that they went to Guru Arjan for a solution. Guru Arjan knew the cosmic principle of Dasvandh would reverse the trend and multiply their prosperity. He instructed his beloved Sikhs that the solution was for every person to donate one-tenth of their time and earnings to the infinite therefore expanding their service and spiritual realm.


Resource: “About Dasvandh,” Sikh Dharma International (https://www.sikhdharma.org/dasvandh/dasvandh-about/).