In the time of Guru Amar Das, Nanak III, a formal structure for channelizing Sikh religious giving was evolved. He set up 22 manjis or districts in different parts of the country, each placed under the charge of a pious Sikh who, besides preaching Guru Nanak’s word, looked after the sangats within his/her jurisdiction and transmitted the disciple’s offerings to the Guru.
As the digging of the sacred pool at Amritsar, and the erection in the middle of it of the shrine, Harimander sahib, began under Guru Ram Das entailing large amounts of expenditure, Sikhs were enjoined to set apart a minimum of ten per cent (dasvandh) of their income for the common pool, Guru key Golak or just "Golak". Masands, i.e. ministers and the tithe-collectors, were appointed to collect "kar bhet" (offerings) and dasvandh from Sikhs in the area they were assigned to, and pass these on to the Guru.
The custom of dasvandh was codified in documents called rahitnamas, manuals of Sikh conduct, written during the lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh or soon after. For example, Bhai Nand Lal’s Tankhahnama records these words of Gobind Singh: “Hear ye Nand Lal, one who does not give dasvandh and, telling lies, misappropriates it, is not at all to be trusted.” The tradition has been kept alive by chosen Sikhs who to this day scrupulously fulfil the injunction. The institution itself serves as a means for the individual to practice personal piety as well as to participate in the ongoing history of the community, the Guru Panth.
Sat Shree Akaal