DN 23 From… Pāyāsisutta: With Pāyāsi

…Then the chieftain Pāyāsi set up an offering for ascetics and brahmins, for paupers, vagrants, travelers, and beggars. At that offering such food as rough gruel with pickles was given, and heavy clothes with knotted fringes. Now, it was a brahmin student named Uttara who organized that offering.

When the offering was over he referred to it like this, “Through this offering may I be together with the chieftain Pāyāsi in this world, but not in the next.

Pāyāsi heard of this, so he summoned Uttara and said, “Is it really true, dear Uttara, that you referred to the offering in this way?”

“Yes, sir.”

“But why? Don’t we who seek merit expect some result from the offering?”

“At your offering such food as rough gruel with pickles was given, which you wouldn’t even want to touch with your foot, much less eat. And also heavy clothes with knotted fringes, which you also wouldn’t want to touch with your foot, much less wear. Sir, you’re dear and beloved to me. But how can I reconcile one so dear with something so disagreeable?”

“Well then, dear Uttara, set up an offering with the same kind of food that I eat, and the same kind of clothes that I wear.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Uttara, and did so.

So the chieftain Pāyāsi gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with his own hands, giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia. But the brahmin student Uttara who organized the offering gave gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with his own hands, not giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three.

Now at that time Venerable Gavampati would often go to that empty acacia palace for the day’s meditation. Then the god Pāyāsi went up to him, bowed, and stood to one side. Gavampati said to him, “Who are you, reverend?”

“Sir, I am the chieftain Pāyāsi.”

“Didn’t you have the view that there’s no afterlife, no beings are reborn spontaneously, and there’s no fruit or result of good and bad deeds?”

“It’s true, sir, I did have such a view. But Venerable Kassapa the Prince dissuaded me from that harmful misconception.”

“But the student named Uttara who organized that offering for you—where has he been reborn?”

“Sir, Uttara

  1. gave gifts carefully,
  2. thoughtfully,
  3. with his own hands,
  4. not giving the dregs.

When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three. But I gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with my own hands, giving the dregs. When my body broke up, after death, I was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia.

So, sir, when you’ve returned to the human realm, please announce this: ‘Give gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with your own hands, not giving the dregs. The chieftain Pāyāsi gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with his own hands, giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia. But the brahmin student Uttara who organized the offering gave gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with his own hands, not giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three.’”

So when Venerable Gavampati returned to the human realm he made that announcement.


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 23 Pāyāsisutta: With Pāyāsi by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Park. Then Mahānāma the Sakyan approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“In what way, Bhante, is one a lay follower?”

“When, Mahānāma, one has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, in that way one is a lay follower.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower virtuous?”

“When, Mahānāma, a lay follower abstains from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness, in that way a lay follower is virtuous.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith but does not encourage others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior but does not encourage others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity but does not encourage others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus but does not encourage others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma but does not encourage others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard but does not encourage others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind but does not encourage others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself has understood the meaning and the Dhamma and practices in accordance with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to do so: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others.

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare and for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith and also encourages others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior and also encourages others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity and also encourages others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus and also encourages others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma and also encourages others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard and also encourages others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind and also encourages others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself understands the meaning and the Dhamma and then practices in accordance with the Dhamma, and also encourages others to practice in accordance with the Dhamma: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare and also for the welfare of others.”

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.49 Maccharisutta: Stingy

At Sāvatthī.

Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side. Standing to one side, that deity recited this verse in the Buddha’s presence:

“Those who are stingy here in the world,
Miserly folk, revilers,
People who create obstacles
For others engaged in giving alms:
What kind of result do they reap?
What kind of future destiny?
We’ve come to ask the Blessed One this:
How are we to understand it?”

The Blessed One:

“Those who are stingy here in the world,
Miserly folk, revilers,
People who create obstacles
For others engaged in giving alms:
They might be reborn in hell,
In the animal realm or Yama’s world.

“If they come back to the human state
They are born in a poor family
Where clothes, food, pleasures, and sport
Are obtained only with difficulty.

“Whatever the fools may expect from others,
Even that they do not obtain.
This is the result in this very life;
And in the future a bad destination.”

Devatā:

“We understand thus what you have said;
We ask, O Gotama, another question:
Those here who, on gaining the human state,
Are amiable and generous,
Confident in the Buddha and the Dhamma
And deeply respectful towards the Saṅgha:
What kind of result do they reap?
What kind of future destiny?
We’ve come to ask the Blessed One this:
How are we to understand it?”

The Blessed One:

“Those here who, on gaining the human state,
Are amiable and generous,
Confident in the Buddha and the Dhamma
And deeply respectful towards the Saṅgha,
These brighten up the heavens
Where they’ve been reborn.

“If they come back to the human state
They are reborn in a rich family
Where clothes, food, pleasures, and sport
Are obtained without difficulty.

“They rejoice like the devas who control
The goods amassed by others.
This is the result in this very life;
And in the future a good destination.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.49 Maccharisutta: Stingy by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 354 From… Taṇhā Vagga: Craving

The gift of Dhamma surpasses all gifts.
The taste of Dhamma surpasses all taste.
The delight in Dhamma surpasses all delights.
The destruction of cravings conquers all suffering.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 24 Taṇhā Vagga: Craving (334-359) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 6.37 Dāna Sutta: Giving

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. And on that occasion the female lay follower Veḷukaṇṭakin Nandamātar, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna. The Blessed One saw with his divine eye, surpassing the human, that the laywoman Veḷukaṇḍakī, Nanda’s mother, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna. On seeing this, he addressed the monks: “Monks, the female lay follower Veḷukaṇṭakin Nandamātar, has established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna.

“And how is a donation endowed with six factors? There is the case where there are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients.

“And which are the three factors of the donor? There is the case where the donor, before giving, is glad; while giving, his/her mind is bright & clear; and after giving is gratified. These are the three factors of the donor.

“And which are the three factors of the recipients? There is the case where the recipients are free of passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; free of aversion or practicing for the subduing of aversion; and free of delusion or practicing for the subduing of delusion. These are the three factors of the recipients.

“Such are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients. And this is how a donation is endowed with six factors.

“And it’s not easy to take the measure of the merit of a donation thus endowed with six factors as ‘just this much a bonanza of merit, a bonanza of what is skillful—a nutriment of bliss, heavenly, resulting in bliss, leading to heaven—that leads to what is desirable, pleasing, charming, beneficial, pleasant.’ It is simply reckoned as a great mass of merit, incalculable, immeasurable.

“Just as it’s not easy to take the measure of the great ocean as ‘just this many buckets of water, just this many hundreds of buckets of water, just this many thousands of buckets of water, or just this many hundreds of thousands of buckets of water.’ It’s simply reckoned as a great mass of water, incalculable, immeasurable. In the same way, it’s not easy to take the measure of the merit of a donation thus endowed with six factors as ‘just this much a bonanza of merit, a bonanza of what is skillful—a nutriment of bliss, heavenly, resulting in bliss, leading to heaven—that leads to what is desirable, pleasing, charming, beneficial, pleasant.’ It is simply reckoned as a great mass of merit, incalculable, immeasurable.”

Before giving, glad;
while giving, the mind is bright & clear;
having given, one is gratified:
          This is the consummation of the sacrifice.
Free of passion, free of aversion,
free of delusion, without effluent:
          the consummation of the field of the sacrifice,
          one restrained, leading the holy life.
Having rinsed oneself,
having given with one’s own hands,
          then—because of oneself,
          because of the other—
that is a sacrifice yielding great fruit.
Having given thus
          —intelligent—
a person of conviction,
with awareness released,
          reappears
          —wise—
in a world of bliss
          unalloyed.



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.37 Dāna Sutta. Giving by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 135 From… Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta: The Shorter Analysis of Deeds

…Take some woman or man who doesn’t give to ascetics or brahmins such things as food, drink, clothing, vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; and bed, house, and lighting. Because of undertaking such deeds, after death they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. If they return to the human realm, they’re poor. For not giving to ascetics or brahmins such things as food, drink, clothing, vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; and bed, house, and lighting is the path leading to poverty.

But take some woman or man who does give to ascetics or brahmins such things as food, drink, clothing, vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; and bed, house, and lighting. Because of undertaking such deeds, after death they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. If they’re not reborn in a heavenly realm, but return to the human realm, then wherever they’re reborn they’re they’re rich. For giving to ascetics or brahmins such things as food, drink, clothing, vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; and bed, house, and lighting is the path leading to a long lifespan.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 135 Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta: The Shorter Analysis of Deeds Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.147 Asappurisadānasutta: Gifts of a Bad Person

“Mendicants, there are these five gifts of a bad person. What five? They give carelessly. They give thoughtlessly. They don’t give with their own hand. They give the dregs. They give without consideration for consequences. These are the five gifts of a bad person.

There are these five gifts of a good person. What five? They give carefully. They give thoughtfully. They give with their own hand. They don’t give the dregs. They give with consideration for consequences. These are the five gifts of a good person.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.147 Asappurisadānasutta: Gifts of a Bad Person by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 42.9 Kula Sutta: Families

On one occasion the Blessed One, while wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of monks, arrived at Nāḷandā. There he stayed at Nāḷandā in Pāvārika’s Mango Grove.

Now at that time Nāḷandā was in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, the crops white with blight and turned to straw. And at that time Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta was staying in Nāḷandā together with a large following of nigaṇṭhas. Then Asibandhakaputta the headman, a disciple of the nigaṇṭhas, went to Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta said to him, “Come, now, headman. Refute the words of the contemplative Gotama, and this admirable report about you will spread afar: ‘The words of the contemplative Gotama—so mighty, so powerful—were refuted by Asibandhakaputta the headman!’”

“But how, lord, will I refute the words of the contemplative Gotama—so mighty, so powerful?”

“Come now, headman. Go to the contemplative Gotama and on arrival say this: ‘Lord, doesn’t the Blessed One in many ways praise kindness, protection, & sympathy for families?’ If the contemplative Gotama, thus asked, answers, ‘Yes, headman, the Tathāgata in many ways praises kindness, protection, & sympathy for families,’ then you should say, ‘Then why, lord, is the Blessed One, together with a large Saṅgha of monks, wandering on tour around Nāḷandā in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, when the crops are white with blight and turned to straw? The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families.’ When the contemplative Gotama is asked this two-pronged question by you, he won’t be able to swallow it down or spit it up.”

Responding, “As you say, lord,” Asibandhakaputta the headman got up from his seat, bowed down to Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, circumambulated him, and then went to the Blessed One. On arrival, he bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, doesn’t the Blessed One in many ways praise kindness, protection, & sympathy for families?”

“Yes, headman, the Tathāgata in many ways praises kindness, protection, & sympathy for families.”

“Then why, lord, is the Blessed One, together with a large Saṅgha of monks, wandering on tour around Nāḷandā in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, when the crops are white with blight and turned to straw? The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families.”

“Headman, recollecting back over 91 eons, I do not know any family to have been brought to downfall through the giving of cooked alms. On the contrary: Whatever families are rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities, all have become so from giving, from truth, from restraint.

“Headman, there are eight causes, eight reasons for the downfall of families.

  1. Families go to their downfall because of kings,
  2. or families go to their downfall because of thieves,
  3. or families go to their downfall because of fire, or
  4. families go to their downfall because of floods, or
  5. their stored-up treasure disappears, or
  6. their mismanaged undertakings go wrong, or
  7. in the family a wastrel is born who squanders, scatters, & shatters its wealth, and
  8. inconstancy itself is the eighth.

These are the eight causes, the eight reasons for the downfall of families. Now, when these eight causes, these eight reasons are to be found, if anyone should say of me, ‘The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families’—without abandoning that statement, without abandoning that intent, without relinquishing that view—then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.”

When this was said, Asibandhakaputta the headman said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One—through many lines of reasoning—made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the Saṅgha of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 42.9 Kula Sutta. Families by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral. or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.34 Sīha Sutta: To General Sīha (On Giving)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Forest. Then General Sīha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Is it possible, lord, to point out a fruit of giving visible in the here & now?”

“It is possible, Sīha. One who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large. And the fact that who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large: This is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving. And the fact that good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide. And the fact that the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment. And the fact that when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world. And the fact that at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world: This is a fruit of giving in the next life.”

When this was said, General Sīha said to the Blessed One: “As for the four fruits of giving visible in the here & now that have been pointed out by the Blessed One, it’s not the case that I go by conviction in the Blessed One with regard to them. I know them, too.

  • I am generous, a master of giving, dear & charming to people at large.
  • I am generous, a master of giving; good people, people of integrity, admire me.
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and my fine reputation is spread far & wide: ‘Sīha is generous, a doer, a supporter of the Saṅgha.’
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and when I approach any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—I do so confidently & without embarrassment.

“But when the Blessed One says to me, ‘At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world,’ that I do not know. That is where I go by conviction in the Blessed One.”

“So it is, Sīha. So it is. At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world.”

One who gives is dear.
People at large admire him.
He gains honor. His status grows.
He enters an assembly unembarrassed.
He is confident—the unmiserly man.

Therefore the wise give gifts.
Seeking bliss, they would subdue the stain of miserliness.
Established in the three-fold heavenly world,
they enjoy themselves long
in fellowship with the devas.

Having made the opportunity for themselves,
having done what is skillful,
then when they fall from here
they fare on, self-radiant, in Nandana [the garden of the devas].

There they delight, enjoy, are joyful,
replete with the five sensuality strands.
Having followed the words of the sage who is Such,
they enjoy themselves in heaven—
disciples of the One Well-Gone.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.34 Sīha Sutta. To General Sīha (On Giving) by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Iti 107 Bahukārasutta: Very Helpful

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, brahmins and householders are very helpful to you. They provide you with the requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicine in time of sickness. And you, bhikkhus, are very helpful to brahmins and householders, as you teach them the Dhamma that is good at the outset, good in the middle, and good at the end, with its correct meaning and wording, and you proclaim the holy life in its fulfilment and complete purity. Thus, bhikkhus, this holy life is lived with mutual support for the purpose of crossing the flood and making a complete end of suffering.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

Householders and homeless alike,
Each a support for the other,
Both accomplish the true Dhamma—
The unsurpassed security from bondage.

From householders the homeless receive
These basic necessities of life,
Robes to wear and a place to dwell
Dispelling the hardships of the seasons.

And by relying on one of good conduct,
Home-loving layfolk dwelling in a house
Place faith in those worthy ones
Of noble wisdom and meditative.

Practising the Dhamma in this life,
The path leading to a good bourn,
Those wishing for pleasure rejoice
In the delights of the deva world.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 107 Bahukārasutta: Very Helpful by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.