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Pv 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost

Sāriputta Bhante sees a female ghost and asks,

Sāriputta Bhante:

You are naked and very ugly, your veins are popping out. You thin person, with your ribs sticking out, who are you?

Ghost:

I am a ghost, sir. I am suffering in the world of Yama. I have done an evil deed as a human and have been reborn in the world of ghosts.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Now what evil deed have you done by body, speech, or mind for you to have been born in the world of ghosts?

Ghost:

Nobody had sympathy for me. Neither my father, mother, nor relatives encouraged me to give alms to monks. Therefore, I did not give alms. I must wander around the world naked and always hungry for five hundred years. This is the result of my evil deed.

I pay respect to you good sir with a very happy mind. Please have compassion towards me, oh noble monk. Please offer something and share the merits with me. Please release me from this state of misery.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Very well.

Out of kindness Sāriputta Bhante offered a handful of rice, a piece of cloth and a bowl of water to monks. He then shared the merits with the female ghost. The result of that merit was received by the female ghost immediately in the form of food, drink, and clothing. She became clean and fresh with the cleanest and finest clothes. She approached Sāriputta Bhante.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Who are you, with heavenly beauty, shining in all directions like a star? Why are you so beautiful? What merit have you collected when you were a human?

Ghost:

Sāriputta Bhante, you were very compassionate when you saw me in a miserable state: thin, starved, and naked with rough skin. You offered the monks a handful of rice, a piece of cloth, and a bowl of water then dedicated the merit to me.

Now look at the result of offering a handful of rice. For a thousand years I will eat delicious food whenever I want.

Look at the result of offering a piece of cloth. I have as many clothes as King Nanda. Still I have more clothes than that, made from silk, wool, linen, and cotton. There are lots of expensive clothes, so many they even hang from the sky. I can wear whatever I want.

Look at the result of offering a bowl of water. I have gained a beautiful pond with clear and cool water. It is surrounded by fine sand and there are fragrant lotuses and lilies with flower petals floating in the water. I am very happy playing in the water. I am not afraid of anything. You were very compassionate to me Bhante. I have come to worship you.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, 日本語, සිංහල, or Tiếng Việt. Learn how to find your language.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

MN 142 From… Dakkhiṇāvibhaṅga Sutta: The Analysis of Giving—Gifts to an Individual

[NOTE: In the part of the sutta after this the Buddha goes on to explain that a gift to a saṅgha is always greater than a gift to an individual]

“…Now, Ānanda, gifts to the following individuals may be expected to yield the following returns. 

“Giving a gift to an animal, yields a return a hundred times over. 

“Giving a gift to an unvirtuous ordinary person, yields a return a thousand times over

“Giving a gift to a virtuous ordinary person, yields a return a hundred thousand times over (100,000). 

“Giving a gift to an outsider free of desire for sense pleasures, yields a return a trillion times over (1,000,000,000,000). 

“But giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry yields incalculable, immeasurable returns. How much more so giving a gift to a stream-enterer? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of once-return? How much more so giving a gift to a once-returner? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of non-return? How much more so giving a gift to a non-returner? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of arahantship? How much more so giving a gift to an arahant? How much more so giving a gift to a Private Buddha? 

“How much more so giving a gift to the Supreme Buddha?…”


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 142 Dakkhiṇāvibhaṅga Sutta: The Analysis of Giving by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in বাংলা, Deutsch, Español, Français, हिन्दी, Bahasa Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, Русский, සිංහල, Slovenščina, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Dhp 174–176 From… Lokavagga: The World

Blind is the world,
few are those who clearly see.
Only a handful go to heaven,
like a bird freed from a net.

The miserly don’t ascend to heaven,
it takes a fool to not praise giving.
The wise celebrate giving,
and so find happiness in the hereafter.

The fruit of stream-entry is better
than being the one king of the earth,
than going to heaven,
than lordship over all the world.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 167–178 Lokavagga by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 223–224 From… Kodhavagga: Anger

Defeat anger with kindness,
villainy with virtue,
stinginess with giving,
and lies with truth.

Speak the truth, do not be angry,
and give when asked, if only a little.
By these three means,
you may enter the presence of the gods.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 221–234 Kodhavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 135 From… Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta: The Shorter Analysis of Deeds—Giving

…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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.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 SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Ud 3.7 Sakkudānasutta: Sakka’s Heartfelt Saying

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding ground. Now at that time Venerable Mahākassapa was staying in the Pipphali cave. Having entered a certain state of immersion, he sat cross-legged for seven days without moving. When seven days had passed, Mahākassapa emerged from that state of immersion. It occurred to him, “Why not enter Rājagaha for almsfood?”

Now at that time five hundred deities were ready and eager for the chance to offer alms to Mahākassapa. But Mahākasspa refused those deities. In the morning, he robed up, took his bowl and robe, and entered Rājagaha for alms.

Now at that time Sakka, lord of Gods, wished to give alms to Mahākassapa. Having manifested in the appearance of a weaver, he worked the loom while the demon maiden Sujā fed the shuttle. Then, as Mahākassapa wandered indiscriminately for almsfood in Rājagaha, he approached Sakka’s house. Seeing Mahākassapa coming off in the distance, Sakka came out of his house, greeted him, and took the bowl from his hand. He re-entered the house and filled the bowl with rice from the pot. That almsfood had many tasty soups and sauces. Then it occurred to Mahākassapa, “Now, what being is this who has such psychic power?” It occurred to him, “This is Sakka, lord of Gods.” Knowing this, he said to Sakka, “This is your doing, Kosiya; don’t do such a thing again.” “But sir, Kassapa, we too need merit! We too ought make merit.”

Then Sakka bowed and respectfully circled Mahākassapa, keeping him on his right. Then he rose into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, expressed this heartfelt sentiment three times: “Oh the gift, the best gift is well established in Kassapa! Oh the gift, the best gift is well established in Kassapa! Oh the gift, the best gift is well established in Kassapa!” With clairaudience that is purified and superhuman, the Buddha heard Sakka express this heartfelt sentiment while sitting in the sky.

Then, understanding this matter, on that occasion the Buddha expressed this heartfelt sentiment:

“A mendicant who relies on alms,
self-supported, providing for no other;
the poised one is envied by even the gods,
calm and ever mindful.”


Read this translation of Udāna 3.7 Sakkudānasutta: Sakka’s Heartfelt Saying Sakkudānasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 177 From… Loka Vagga: The World

Truly, misers never go to heaven.
Fools, indeed, never praise generosity.
But the wise rejoice in generosity,
and so find happiness hereafter.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 13 Loka Vagga: The World (167-178) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.61 Pattakammasutta: Worthy Deeds

NOTE: This sutta is longer than usual, but it gives lots of wonderful advice for lay life. Especially on wealth and how to use it.

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One said to him:

“Householder, there are these four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. What four?

(1) “One thinks: ‘May wealth come to me righteously!’ This is the first thing in the world that is wished for … and rarely gained in the world.

(2) “Having gained wealth righteously, one thinks: ‘May fame come to me and to my relatives and preceptors!’ This is the second thing … rarely gained in the world.

(3) “Having gained wealth righteously and having gained fame for oneself and for one’s relatives and preceptors, one thinks: ‘May I live long and enjoy a long life span!’ This is the third thing … rarely gained in the world.

(4) “Having gained wealth righteously, having gained fame for oneself and for one’s relatives and preceptors, living long and enjoying a long life span, one thinks: ‘With the breakup of the body, after death, may I be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world!’ This is the fourth thing … rarely gained in the world.

“These are the four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.

“There are, householder, four other things that lead to obtaining those four things. What four? Accomplishment in faith, accomplishment in virtuous behavior, accomplishment in generosity, and accomplishment in wisdom.

(1) “And what, householder, is accomplishment in faith? Here, a noble disciple is endowed with faith; he places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathāgata thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’ This is called accomplishment in faith.

(2) “And what is accomplishment in virtuous behavior? Here, a noble disciple abstains from the destruction of life … abstains from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness. This is called accomplishment in virtuous behavior.

(3) “And what is accomplishment in generosity? Here, a noble disciple dwells at home with a mind free from the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. This is called accomplishment in generosity.

(4) “And what is accomplishment in wisdom? If one dwells with a heart overcome by longing and unrighteous greed, one does what should be avoided and neglects one’s duty, so that one’s fame and happiness are spoiled. If one dwells with a heart overcome by ill will … by dullness and drowsiness … by restlessness and remorse … by doubt, one does what should be avoided and neglects one’s duty, so that one’s fame and happiness are spoiled.

“When, householder, a noble disciple has understood thus: ‘Longing and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Ill will is a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons it.

When he has understood thus: ‘Dullness and drowsiness are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Restlessness and remorse are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Doubt is a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons it.

“When, householder, a noble disciple has understood thus: ‘Longing and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind’ and has abandoned them; when he has understood thus: ‘Ill will … Dullness and drowsiness … Restlessness and remorse … Doubt is a defilement of the mind,’ and has abandoned it, he is then called a noble disciple of great wisdom, of wide wisdom, one who sees the range, one accomplished in wisdom. This is called accomplishment in wisdom.

“These are the four other things that lead to obtaining the four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.

“With wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, the noble disciple undertakes four worthy deeds. What four?

(1) “Here, householder, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes himself happy and pleased and properly maintains himself in happiness; he makes his parents happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness; he makes his wife and children, his slaves, workers, and servants happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness; he makes his friends and companions happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness. This is the first case of wealth that has gone to good use, that has been properly utilized and used for a worthy cause.

(2) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes provisions against the losses that might arise from fire, floods, kings, thieves, or displeasing heirs; he makes himself secure against them. This is the second case of wealth that has gone to good use … for a worthy cause.

(3) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes the five oblations: to relatives, guests, ancestors, the king, and the deities. This is the third case of wealth that has gone to good use … for a worthy cause.

(4) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple establishes an uplifting offering of alms—an offering that is heavenly, resulting in happiness, conducive to heaven—to those ascetics and brahmins who refrain from intoxication and heedlessness, who are settled in patience and mildness, who tame themselves, calm themselves, and train themselves for nibbāna. This is the fourth case of wealth that has gone to good use, that has been properly employed and used for a worthy cause.

“These, householder, are the four worthy deeds that the noble disciple undertakes with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained. When anyone exhausts wealth on anything apart from these four worthy deeds, that wealth is said to have gone to waste, to have been squandered, to have been used frivolously. But when anyone exhausts wealth on these four worthy deeds, that wealth is said to have gone to good use, to have been properly used, to have been utilized for a worthy cause.

“I’ve enjoyed wealth,
supported my dependents,
and overcome adversities.
I have given an uplifting offering
and performed the five oblations.
I have served the virtuous monks,
the self-controlled celibate ones.

“I have achieved whatever purpose
a wise person, dwelling at home,
might have in desiring wealth;
what I have done brings me no regret.”

Recollecting this, a mortal
remains firm in the noble Dhamma.
They praise him here in this life,
and after death he rejoices in heaven.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.61 Pattakammasutta: Worthy Deeds by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 7.52 Dāna Sutta: Giving

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Campā on the shore of Gaggarā Lake. Then a large number of lay followers from Campā went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to Ven. Sāriputta: “It has been a long time, venerable sir, since we have had a chance to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence. It would be good if we could get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“Then in that case, my friends, come again on the next uposatha day, and perhaps you’ll get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“As you say, venerable sir,” the lay followers from Campā said to Ven. Sāriputta. Rising from their seats, bowing down to him, and then circling him—keeping him on their right—they left.

Then, on the following uposatha day, the lay followers from Campā went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. Then Ven. Sāriputta, together with the lay followers from Campā, 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: “Might there be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Yes, Sāriputta, there would be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”

“Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Sāriputta, there is the case where a person gives a gift seeking his own profit, with a mind attached (to the reward), seeking to store up for himself (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift seeking his own profit—with a mind attached (to the reward), seeking to store up for himself, (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death’—on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Four Great Kings. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Then there is the case of a person who gives a gift not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached (to the reward), not seeking to store up for himself, nor (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ Instead, he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’ on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Thirty-three. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘Giving is good,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Hours. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Contented Devas. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past—Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamadaggi, Aṇgīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, & Bhagu—in the same way will this be my distribution of gifts’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas who Delight in Creation. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas Wielding power over the creations of others. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached (to the reward), not seeking to store up for himself, nor (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death,’

—nor with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’

—nor with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued,’

—nor with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,’

—nor with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past—Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamadaggi, Aṇgīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, & Bhagu—in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,’

—nor with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’

—but with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind’—on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahmā’s Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

“This, Sāriputta, is the cause, this is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.52 Dāna Sutta. Giving by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.57 Suppavāsāsutta: Suppavāsā

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Koliyans, where they have a town named Pajjanika.

Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to the home of Suppavāsā the Koliyan, where he sat on the seat spread out. Then Suppavāsā served and satisfied the Buddha with her own hands with a variety of delicious foods. When the Buddha had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, she sat down to one side. The Buddha said to her:

“Suppavāsā, when a noble disciple gives food, she gives the recipients four things. What four? Long life, beauty, happiness, and strength. Giving long life, she has long life as a god or human. Giving beauty, she has beauty as a god or human. Giving happiness, she has happiness as a god or human. Giving strength, she has strength as a god or human. When a noble disciple gives food, she gives the recipients these four things.

When she gives well-prepared food,
pure, fine, and full of flavor,
that offering—given to the upright,
who have good conduct, and are big-hearted—
joins merit to merit. It’s very fruitful,
and is praised by those who know the world.

Those who recall such sacrifices,
live in the world full of inspiration.
They’ve driven out the stain of stinginess, root and all,
blameless, they go to a heavenly place.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.57 Suppavāsāsutta: Suppavāsā by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.79 Vaṇijja Sutta: Trade

Then Ven. Sāriputta 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, “What is the reason, lord, what is the cause why a certain trade, when engaged in by some people, turns out a failure? What is the reason, what is the cause why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out not as intended? What is the reason, what is the cause why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out as intended? What is the reason, what is the cause why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out better than intended?”

“There is the case, Sāriputta, where a certain person, having gone to a contemplative or brahman, makes him an offer: ‘Tell me, sir, what you need in terms of the four requisites.’ But he doesn’t give what he offered. If he passes away from there and comes here, then whatever trade he engages in, it turns out a failure.

“Then there is the case where a certain person, having gone to a contemplative or brahman, makes him an offer: ‘Tell me, sir, what you need in terms of the four requisites.’ But he gives him something other than what he intended by his offer. If he passes away from there and comes here, then whatever trade he engages in, it turns out not as intended.

“Then there is the case where a certain person, having gone to a contemplative or brahman, makes him an offer: ‘Tell me, sir, what you need in terms of the four requisites.’ He gives him what he intended by his offer. If he passes away from there and comes here, then whatever trade he engages in, it turns out as intended.

“Then there is the case where a certain person, having gone to a contemplative or brahman, makes him an offer: ‘Tell me, sir, what you need in terms of the four requisites.’ He gives him more than what he intended by his offer. If he passes away from there and comes here, then whatever trade he engages in, it turns out better than intended.

“This is the reason, Sāriputta, this is the cause why a certain trade, when engaged in by some people, turns out a failure; why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out not as intended; why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out as intended; why the same sort of trade, when engaged in by other people, turns out better than intended.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.79 Vaṇijja Sutta. Trade by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Pv 1.9 Mahāpesakāra Sutta: Master Weaver

A monk sees a ghost and discusses his experience with others.

Monk:

She eats excrement, urine, blood, and pus. Why does she do this? What has she done for her to have to always feed on blood and pus? New clothes which are very clean, soft, and beautiful turn to hard metal plates when they are given to her. What bad karma has this woman done?

Man:

She was my wife. She was very greedy, mean, and never gave to anyone. When I offered gifts to monks, she would insult me. She cursed me saying, “As you offer food, let this food return to you in the form of excrement, urine, blood, and pus! As you offer clothes, let these clothes return to you in the form of metal plates!” Since she had this evil mind, she now suffers in the ghost world eating filth for a long time.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.9 Mahāpesakāra Sutta: Master Weaver by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Iti 26 Dānasaṁvibhāga Sutta: Giving and Sharing

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard:

“Monks, if people knew as I know the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given nor would the stain of stinginess overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared, if there was someone to share it with. But, monks, because people do not know as I know the results of giving and sharing, they eat without having given. The stain of stinginess overcomes their minds.”

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

If people only knew—
so taught the Great Sage—
how the result of sharing has such great fruit,
then people would subdue the stain of stinginess
and with pleased minds
they would give gifts in proper occasion
to the noble ones where a gift bears great fruit.

Having given much food as offerings
to those most worthy of offerings,
the donors go to heaven
when they pass away from here,
the human state.

Having gone to heaven,
they rejoice and enjoy divine pleasures as they desire.
The generous people experience
the result of generously sharing with others.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 26 Dānasaṁvibhāga Sutta: Giving and Sharing by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 9.17 Kulasutta: Families

“Mendicants, visiting a family with nine factors is not worthwhile, or if you’ve already arrived, sitting down is not worthwhile. What nine?

  1. They don’t politely rise,
  2. bow, or
  3. offer a seat.
  4. They hide what they have.
  5. Even when they have much they give little.
  6. Even when they have refined things they give coarse things.
  7. They give carelessly, not carefully.
  8. They don’t sit nearby to listen to the teachings.
  9. When you’re speaking, they don’t listen well.

Visiting a family with these nine factors is not worthwhile, or if you’ve already arrived, sitting down is not worthwhile.

Visiting a family with nine factors is worthwhile, or if you’ve already arrived, sitting down is worthwhile. What nine?

  1. They politely rise,
  2. bow, and
  3. offer a seat.
  4. They don’t hide what they have.
  5. When they have much they give much.
  6. When they have refined things they give refined things.
  7. They give carefully, not carelessly.
  8. They sit nearby to listen to the teachings.
  9. When you’re speaking, they listen well.

Visiting a family with these nine factors is worthwhile, or if you’ve already arrived, sitting down is worthwhile.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.17 Kulasutta: Families by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 142 Dakkhiṇāvibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Religious Donations

NOTE: Today’s selection is very long, but it is one of the richest teachings on giving. We learn about repaying gifts, the benefits of giving to even the lowest of beings, the value of giving to the saṅgha, and the ways the receiver and the giver determine the merit of the gift.

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Monastery.

Then Mahāpajāpati Gotamī approached the Buddha bringing a new pair of garments. She bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha, “Sir, I have spun and woven this new pair of garments specially for the Buddha. May the Buddha please accept this from me out of compassion.”

When she said this, the Buddha said to her, “Give it to the Saṅgha, Gotamī. When you give to the Saṅgha, both the Saṅgha and I will be honored.”

For a second time …

For a third time, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī said to the Buddha, “Sir, I have spun and woven this new pair of garments specially for the Buddha. May the Buddha please accept this from me out of compassion.”

And for a third time, the Buddha said to her, “Give it to the Saṅgha, Gotamī. When you give to the Saṅgha, both the Saṅgha and I will be honored.”

When he said this, Venerable Ānanda said to the Buddha, “Sir, please accept the new pair of garments from Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī. Sir, Mahāpajāpatī was very helpful to the Buddha. As his aunt, she raised him, nurtured him, and gave him her milk. When the Buddha’s birth mother passed away, she nurtured him at her own breast.

And the Buddha has been very helpful to Mahāpajāpatī. It is owing to the Buddha that Mahāpajāpatī has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. It’s owing to the Buddha that she refrains from killing living creatures, stealing, committing sexual misconduct, lying, and taking alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. It’s owing to the Buddha that she has experiential confidence in the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha, and has the ethics loved by the noble ones. It’s owing to the Buddha that she is free of doubt regarding suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the practice that leads to its cessation. The Buddha has been very helpful to Mahāpajāpatī.”

“That’s so true, Ānanda. When someone has enabled you to go for refuge, it’s not easy to repay them by bowing down to them, rising up for them, greeting them with joined palms, and observing proper etiquette for them; or by providing them with robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick.

When someone has enabled you to refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and alcoholic drinks that cause negligence, it’s not easy to repay them …

When someone has enabled you to have experiential confidence in the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha, and the ethics loved by the noble ones, it’s not easy to repay them …

When someone has enabled you to be free of doubt regarding suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the practice that leads to its cessation, it’s not easy to repay them by bowing down to them, rising up for them, greeting them with joined palms, and observing proper etiquette for them; or by providing them with robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick.

Ānanda, there are these fourteen religious donations to individuals. What fourteen?

  1. One gives a gift to the Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the first religious donation to an individual.
  2. One gives a gift to a Buddha awakened for themselves. This is the second religious donation to an individual.
  3. One gives a gift to a perfected one. This is the third religious donation to an individual.
  4. One gives a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of perfection. This is the fourth religious donation to an individual.
  5. One gives a gift to a non-returner. This is the fifth religious donation to an individual.
  6. One gives a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of non-return. This is the sixth religious donation to an individual.
  7. One gives a gift to a once-returner. This is the seventh religious donation to an individual.
  8. One gives a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of once-return. This is the eighth religious donation to an individual.
  9. One gives a gift to a stream-enterer. This is the ninth religious donation to an individual.
  10. One gives a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry. This is the tenth religious donation to an individual.
  11. One gives a gift to an outsider who is free of sensual desire. This is the eleventh religious donation to an individual.
  12. One gives a gift to an ordinary person who has good ethical conduct. This is the twelfth religious donation to an individual.
  13. One gives a gift to an ordinary person who has bad ethical conduct. This is the thirteenth religious donation to an individual.
  14. One gives a gift to an animal. This is the fourteenth religious donation to an individual.

Now, Ānanda, gifts to the following persons may be expected to yield the following returns. To an animal, a hundred times. To an unethical ordinary person, a thousand. To an ethical ordinary person, a hundred thousand. To an outsider free of sensual desire, 10,000,000,000. But a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry may be expected to yield incalculable, immeasurable returns. How much more so a gift to a stream-enterer, someone practicing to realize the fruit of once-return, a once-returner, someone practicing to realize the fruit of non-return, a non-returner, someone practicing to realize the fruit of perfection, a perfected one, or a Buddha awakened for themselves? How much more so a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha?

But there are, Ānanda, seven religious donations bestowed on a Saṅgha. What seven?

  1. One gives a gift to the communities of both monks and nuns headed by the Buddha. This is the first religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  2. One gives a gift to the communities of both monks and nuns after the Buddha has finally become extinguished. This is the second religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  3. One gives a gift to the Saṅgha of monks. This is the third religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  4. One gives a gift to the Saṅgha of nuns. This is the fourth religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  5. One gives a gift, thinking: ‘Appoint this many monks and nuns for me from the Saṅgha.’ This is the fifth religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  6. One gives a gift, thinking: ‘Appoint this many monks for me from the Saṅgha.’ This is the sixth religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.
  7. One gives a gift, thinking: ‘Appoint this many nuns for me from the Saṅgha.’ This is the seventh religious donation bestowed on a Saṅgha.

In times to come there will be members of the spiritual family merely by virtue of wearing ocher cloth around their necks; but they are unethical and of bad character. People will give gifts to those unethical people in the name of the Saṅgha. Even then, I say, a religious donation bestowed on the Saṅgha is incalculable and immeasurable. But I say that there is no way a personal offering can be more fruitful than one bestowed on a Saṅgha.

Ānanda, there are these four ways of purifying a religious donation. What four?

  1. There’s a religious donation that’s purified by the giver, not the recipient.
  2. There’s a religious donation that’s purified by the recipient, not the giver.
  3. There’s a religious donation that’s purified by neither the giver nor the recipient.
  4. There’s a religious donation that’s purified by both the giver and the recipient.

And how is a religious donation purified by the giver, not the recipient? It’s when the giver is ethical, of good character, but the recipient is unethical, of bad character.

And how is a religious donation purified by the recipient, not the giver? It’s when the giver is unethical, of bad character, but the recipient is ethical, of good character.

And how is a religious donation purified by neither the giver nor the recipient? It’s when both the giver and the recipient are unethical, of bad character.

And how is a religious donation purified by both the giver and the recipient? It’s when both the giver and the recipient are ethical, of good character. These are the four ways of purifying a religious donation.”

That is what the Buddha said. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“When an ethical person with trusting heart
gives a proper gift to unethical persons,
trusting in the ample fruit of deeds,
that offering is purified by the giver.

When an unethical and untrusting person,
gives an improper gift to ethical persons,
not trusting in the ample fruit of deeds,
that offering is purified by the receivers.

When an unethical and untrusting person,
gives an improper gift to unethical persons,
not trusting in the ample fruit of deeds,
I declare that gift is not very fruitful.

When an ethical person with trusting heart
gives a proper gift to ethical persons,
trusting in the ample fruit of deeds,
I declare that gift is abundantly fruitful.

But when a passionless one gives to the passionless
a proper gift with trusting heart,
trusting in the ample fruit of deeds,
that’s truly the best of material gifts.”



Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 142 Dakkhiṇāvibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Religious Donations by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Iti 98 Dānasutta: Giving

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

“Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of giving: the giving of material things and the giving of the Dhamma. Of these two kinds of giving, this is the foremost, namely, the giving of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of sharing: the sharing of material things and the sharing of the Dhamma. Of these two kinds of sharing, this is the foremost, namely, the sharing of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of help: help with material things and help with the Dhamma. Of these two kinds of help, this is the foremost, namely, help with the Dhamma.”

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

When they say that giving
Is supreme and unsurpassed,
And the Lord himself has extolled sharing,
Who, wise and knowing,
Confident in that foremost field of merit,
Would not give at the appropriate time?

Both for those who proclaim it
And for those who listen to it,
Confident in the Sublime One’s teaching,
The supreme good is fully purified
As they live diligently in the teaching.

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


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 98 Dānasutta: Giving by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.41 Ādittasutta: Ablaze

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and recited these verses in the presence of the Blessed One:

“When one’s house is ablaze
The vessel taken out
Is the one that is useful,
Not the one left burnt inside.

“So when the world is ablaze
With the fires of aging and death,
One should take out one’s wealth by giving:
What is given is well salvaged.

“What is given yields pleasant fruit,
But not so what is not given.
Thieves take it away, or kings,
It gets burnt by fire or is lost.

“Then in the end one leaves the body
Along with one’s possessions.
Having understood this, the wise person
Should enjoy himself but also give.
Having given and enjoyed as fits his means,
Blameless he goes to the heavenly state.”

This is what that devatā said. The Teacher approved. Then that devatā, thinking, “The Teacher has approved of me,” paid homage to the Blessed One and, keeping him on the right, disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.41 Ādittasutta: Ablaze by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Vv 5.8 Sūcī Sutta: Needle Mansion

Moggallana Bhante:

Dear Devata, your mansion is way up in the sky and spreads over one hundred and twenty kilometers. Pillars of beryl and other gemstones, and seven hundred pinnacled buildings are in your estate. It is very beautiful. Inside the mansion, you drink and eat and enjoy the sweetness of heavenly food. Guitars play sweet music. You have the five kinds of sensual pleasures. Devatas wearing gold jewelry dance for you.

What are the meritorious deeds that led to this happiness?

Tell me Devata, what kind of meritorious action did you do when you were in the human world to have gained this beauty that shines in all directions, and to have earned all these wonderful things?

That devata, delighted at being questioned by Arahant Moggallana, gladly explained what she had done that resulted in such great happiness.

Devata:

The size of the result is not equal to the size of the offering given. Giving is always great. I offered a needle to sew robes. That small offering of a needle became great.

Because of this meritorious deed, I have been born as a very beautiful devata and enjoy all the wonderful things that delight my heart.

Great Bhante, that was the meritorious action I did to have such a beautiful body which shines in all directions.


Read this translation of Vimānavatthu 5.8 Sūcī Sutta: Needle Mansion by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Vimanavatthu: Stories of Heavenly Mansions available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 9.20 From… Velāmasutta: About Velāma

…It would be more fruitful to feed the mendicant Saṅgha headed by the Buddha than to feed one Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha.

It would be more fruitful to build a dwelling especially for the Saṅgha of the four quarters than to feed the mendicant Saṅgha headed by the Buddha.

It would be more fruitful to go for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha with a confident heart than to build a dwelling for the Saṅgha of the four quarters.

It would be more fruitful to undertake the training rules—not to kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or take alcoholic drinks that cause negligence—than to go for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha with a confident heart.

It would be more fruitful to develop a heart of love—even just as long as it takes to pull a cow’s udder—than to undertake the training rules.

It would be more fruitful develop the perception of impermanence—even for as long as a finger-snap—than to do all of these things, including developing a heart of love for as long as it takes to pull a cow’s udder.”


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.20 Velāmasutta: About Velāma by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

“Bhikkhus, in three cases one may be understood to have faith and confidence. What three? When one desires to see those of virtuous behavior; when one desires to hear the good Dhamma; and when one dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. In these three cases, one may be understood to have faith and confidence.”

One who desires to see the virtuous ones,
who wishes to hear the good Dhamma,
who has removed the stain of miserliness,
is called a person endowed with faith.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then Princess Sumanā, accompanied by five hundred chariots and five hundred court girls, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. Princess Sumanā then said to the Blessed One:

“Here, Bhante, there might be two disciples of the Blessed One equal in faith, virtuous behavior, and wisdom, but one is generous while the other is not. With the breakup of the body, after death, they would both be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. When they have become devas, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in five ways: in celestial life span, celestial beauty, celestial happiness, celestial glory, and celestial authority. The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two pass away from there and again become human beings, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in five ways: in human life span, human beauty, human happiness, human fame, and human authority. When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two should go forth from the household life into homelessness, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in five ways. 1) He would usually use a robe that has been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 2) He would usually eat almsfood that has been specifically offered to him, seldom almsfood that had not been specifically offered to him. 3) He would usually use a lodging that had been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 4) He would usually use medicines and provisions for the sick that had been specifically offered to him, seldom those that had not been specifically offered to him. 5) His fellow monastics, those with whom he dwells, would usually behave toward him in agreeable ways by bodily, verbal, and mental action, seldom in disagreeable ways. They would usually present him what is agreeable, seldom what is disagreeable. The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

But, Bhante, if both attain arahantship, would there still be some distinction or difference between them after they have attained arahantship?”

“In this case, Sumanā, I declare, there would be no difference between the liberation of one and the liberation of the other.”

“It’s astounding and amazing, Bhante! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

“So it is, Sumanā! So it is, Sumanā! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“As the stainless moon
moving through the sphere of space
outshines with its radiance
all the stars in the world,
so one accomplished in virtuous behavior,
a person endowed with faith,
outshines by generosity
all the misers in the world.

“As the hundred-peaked rain cloud,
thundering, wreathed in lightning,
pours down rain upon the earth,
inundating the plains and lowlands,
so the Perfectly Enlightened One’s disciple,
the wise one accomplished in vision,
surpasses the miserly person
in five specific respects:
life span and glory,
beauty and happiness.
Possessed of wealth, after death
he rejoices in heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Pv 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant

Monk:
The deva leading the gods is riding a white elephant. There is a deva in the middle of the line sitting on a chariot. At the end of the line, a female deva travels on a golden stage which shines brightly in ten directions. But you ghosts are carrying hammers in your hands with sad faces and broken bodies. You also drink each other’s blood. What bad karma have you done in the human world?

Ghost:
The one in the middle, sitting on a chariot was our second son. He was unselfish and very generous. He now shines brilliantly.

The female deva with soft eyes like a deer’s who is at the end, travelling on a golden stage is our youngest daughter. She was wise and donated half of her wealth. She is now happy and delighted.

In the human world, our children gave alms to monks with very pleasant minds. But we were very selfish and insulted monks. Our children are now very happy because they practiced generosity, but we are suffering like withered bamboo reeds.

Monk:
You are suffering today because you missed the opportunity to do good deeds when you had plenty of food and wealth. Now in the ghost world, what kind of food do you eat and what kind of bed do you sleep on? How do you live here?

Ghost:
Some rich people neither use their wealth nor do meritorious deeds. These greedy people are reborn in the ghost world and suffer.

These ghosts experience the results of their bad karma, suffering from hunger and thirst; they are burning from suffering.

Wealth and property are temporary things. Even this life is very short. Wise people should understand this impermanent nature of life and should seek a way to protect themselves.

There are wise people who understand the Dhamma well. Having heard the teachings of Arahants, they do not forget to give alms.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant by Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu, Stories of Ghosts, available on SuttaFriends.org.