Yuga dharma varies from yuga to yuga.
"Meditation is the special dharma in the Krita yuga.
Spiritual wisdom in Treta yuga,
Yagna [rituals] in the Dvapara yuga and
Charity in the Kali yuga are the special dharmas for these ages.
Though all the dharmas are to be observed in all ages,
each has a special value in each yuga", says sage Parashara.
People can overcome adverse effects of prarabhda karma in Kali yuga by means of 'daana' or charity.
Charity must be given whole-heartedly.
Charity must be given to a deserving one and the one who is need of it.
It is of 3 types, superior (utthama),
and inferior (athama).
If one goes to the place of a deserving one and gives him what he needs, such charity is superior.
If one gives to the one who is nearby, (like friends and relatives) or to those who are easier to reach because they happen to live nearby, such charity is medium.
If one gives to those who comes to their doorstep asking for help, such charity is inferior.
But any act of charity gives good returns to the giver in Kali yuga.
It not only adds to the punya-account of the giver, but also cancels the dues
that one owes to others due to past bad karma.
Such cancellation of old dues that are carried from previous births can be identified astrologically.
The astrological factors give indications about what exactly to give in charity so that the past dues can be canceled.
To know what to give in charity, one must look at the 9th house in the natal chart.
The sub-lord of the lord of the 9th house indicates the kind of charity in this regard.
If the sub-lord is Jupiter, gift of cows and gift of cloths will help in the cancellation of prarabhda dues.
If the sub-lord is Mercury, gift of books must be done.
If the sub-lord is Venus, gift of money (rupees / gold / silver) and / or gift of food must be done.
If the sub-lord is Mars, gift of blood and / or gift of land will help.
If the sub-lord if sun or moon, gift of eyes will help.
If the sub-lord is moon, gift of food will help.
If the sub-lord is Saturn, physical labour must be given - say by doing some cleaning work in places wherever needed.
While doing these, one must not think that he is doing beacuse his prarabhda dues will be cancelled.
I have only indicated that it is better to know what gifts must be given by a person so that he can write off the dues.
While giving, one must not make calculations. One must put all his mind in the act of giving and wishing to see that it reaches the deserving ones.
One can do all kinds of charity in addition to those given astrologically as above.
Tips from sages :-
Yagnavalkya says :-
Everyday a person should give a gift to a deserving
person. He should give gifts on special occasions as well as when
somebody makes a request. He should do it with devotion and according
to his ability.
Manu says :-
The good effects of giving gifts is as follows:-
one who gives water gets satisfaction, one who gives food gets great happiness,
one who gives sesame seeds gets good progeny,
one who gives lamp gets good eyesight,
one who gives land gets land,
one who gives gold gets long life,
one who gives house gets high class houses,
one who gives silver gets best silver,
one who gives dhoti goes to the moon,
one who gives a bull gets abundant wealth,
one who gives a cow goes to the sun,
one who gives a cart and a bed gets a beautiful wife,
one who gives refuge gets wealth,
one who gives grains gets permanent good life,
and the man who imparts education [who teaches Veda] goes to Brahmaloka.
Shandilya says :-
All gifts should be given to the man who does not make a
request. But the gift of education, food and a daughter in marriage
should be given only to persons who make requests and who deserve.
Two kinds of men shine over the heaven-
One who gives food at the time of famine and
one who gives away gold and clothes at the time of prosperity.
Devala says :-
It does not matter whether the gift is small or big in value.
It depends on the love and devotion of the man
who gives and it's value is known from the results.
Religious merit is destroyed if a person brags about the yagnas performed by him for
himself or for others and about his reciting the Vedas.
If we praise our own good deeds and regret giving gifts in charity, our
brightness will be diminished.
Therefore do not talk about your good deeds.