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In Hinduism is it the case that:-

If a married person does any charity from "His own earned income" (not from the income of his wife or forefathers), then half of his Punya is given to his wife and half to him.

But if he is unmarried then full Punya goes in his account.

Is it true?

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  • After marriage, whatever Karma (good or bad) spouse do, it will be shared equally between them and they are indeed married in this Janma just because of their previous karma. That's reason though some women are not allowed to chant Gayatri Mantra, husband chant it and good Karma is shared equally between them.Not sure what happens before marriage. May be his Karma is shared among his family members.
    – The Destroyer
    May 18, 2016 at 4:26
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    @TheDestroyer but why any one should get bad karma done by another soul on him? Suppose if my wife abuses anyone with no reason (just an example of bad karma) then why should I or my family members should share her bad karma ? Vice a versa , If she does lot of charity out of money she earned , then why should I or other family members get good karma out of it ?
    – C Sharper
    May 18, 2016 at 4:47
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    @sagar the husband gets the entire Punya provided his wife played no role in the action. Let me explain why I think so. Let us suppose that the husband uses the money from his earned income to bribe an official to get some benefit and his wife knows nothing about it or does not agree with that action. It would be terribly unfair if his wife has to share her husband's paapa. Of course his wife would have to share the paapa if she agreed with her husband's decision and took advantage of the benefit. May 19, 2016 at 13:04
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    @PradipGangopadhyay what about opposite case ? If husbund earns some bucks with very hard work day and night. With those bucks (earned through his own hard work... no participation of wife in this) he makes some donation/charity. Wife also knows very well about his charity and appreciates his charitable deed. Then does wife gets shared Punnya karma out of it?
    – C Sharper
    May 20, 2016 at 2:54
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    I would say that the husband gets all the Punya. He earned the money and decided to donate a part of the money to some service organization. I do not see why his wife would get any Punya out of her husband's charity since her role is merely to appreciate his good deed. Would I get any Punya if I merely appreciated another person's charity? I don't think so. May 20, 2016 at 14:44

1 Answer 1

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Yes, as per the direct words of one of the most pious woman - Devī Anasūyā, the chaste wife of Mahaṛṣi Atri, the wife accrues half the merit of her husband's peity.


Devī Anasūyā says these words as advice to the wife of the leprosy ridden Kauśika brāhmiṇa, who stopped the sun-rise owing to a curse from the Māṇḍavya ṛṣi.

Chapter 16, Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa


तस्मात् साध्वि ! महाभागे ! पतिशुश्रूषणं प्रति ।
त्वया मतिः सदा कार्या यतो भर्ता परा गतिः ॥१६.६२॥
यद्देवेभ्यो यच्च पित्रागतेभ्यः कुर्याद्भर्ताभ्यर्च्चनं सत्क्रियातः ।
तस्याप्यर्धं केवलानन्यचित्ता नारी भुङ्क्ते भर्तृशुश्रूषयैव
॥१६.६३॥


  • 62,63. Therefore, O virtuous and exalted lady, let thy mind ever be turned towards obedience to thy husband, since a husband is a wife's supreme bliss. Whatever worship the husband may offer by right ceremonies to the gods, and whatever to the pitṛs and guests, even one half of that does the wife, whose mind is centred on him alone, enjoy by very obedience to her husband.”

English Translation by Frederick Eden Pargiter

One may access the Sanskrit + Hindi Translation of the above excerpt from here or the abridged Gita Press Gorakhpur version from here.





To conclude:

  • Question 1 -

If married person does any charity from "His own earned income" (not from income of wife or forefathers), then half of his Punnya is given to his wife and half to him.

Answer - Yes, the wife is given half the merit of her husband's peity, provided she is chaste and devoted to her husband.




  • Question 2.

But if he is un-married then full Punnya goes in his account. Is it true?

In general for an average person, the acts of peity like Yajña, charity, donations, etc. are to be practised in the Gṛhastha-āśrama only, and by default Gṛhastha will have a wife.

In fact, in this official video from the Puri Math, by Govardhan-Puri Math Shankaracharya, Swami Nischalananda ji.

  • Wife gets half the fruits of husband's peity (good karmas), while husband gets no half from the wife's peity.

  • Husband gets half the sin of the wife's sinful acts, while wife does not accumulates any bad karmic fruit from sinful activities of her husband.

  • In general, a person (especially a man) must be married (Gṛhastha). Nischalananda ji cites the case of god Sri Râma and the golden Statue of goddess Sitâ he made to perform the Yajña.

However, when unmarried, it will be more probable that the person is solely responsible for his own karmas, provided they're above the age of 14 as set by Māṇḍavya ṛṣi.

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