A religious or philosophical doctrine does not disappear through the changing of eras but continues by adopting and incorporating with the ideologies and cultures of the changing eras. Dāna, literally means alms-giving, generosity, etc., is a common practice among most of the religions worldwide as a rudimentary practice for spiritual cultivation. This paper would like to explore the tradition of dāna from its origin in ancient India to its contemporary interpretation by the Chinese Buddhist reformer Master Hsing Yun. Various aspects of the early tradition of dāna, including its history, meaning and canonical interpretation (Pāli Nikāyas), are critically examined. Specific attention is focused on how the concept and application of dāna varies in different eras and places, where it has integrated into various cultures. The paper provides a general survey and examination of the origin and mutual-influences of the two important cultures of Indian tradition-the Vedic and Buddhism-and their impact on the practice of dāna; and demonstrates that the traditional Buddhist practice of dāna has spread and assimilated into different cultures nearby. The Southeast Asian countries, in particular, have inherited and maintained the practice of dāna outside India up to the present day. This article also pays special attention to Master Hsing Yun’s modern interpretation of dāna, its meaning and relevance in contemporary society of the 21^(st) century.