I'm wondering about the place of giving (dana
: practical act of giving) and generosity (caga
) in the 8-factored path. I can see the place of dana
in the mundane right view, the first factor of the 8-factored path:
“And what is the right view that has assavas ["leaks" (defilements)], sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? ' There is what is given, what is offered on a large scale, what is offered on a small scale. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.'” [MN 117]
I can see that dana
will lead to the quality/parami of caga
, and the place of caga
in some of the Buddha's lists, such as the five qualities (faith, virtue, learning, generosity and wisdom) and the ten paramis.
I can't see the place of dana
clearly in the rest of the 8-factored path, unless we consider giving/generosity as an antidote/medicine for unrighteous greed/covetousness and sensual desire, ill will, and cruelty (for cultivating right intention/thought).
Since the abandonment of the defilement of stinginess is a requisite of spiritual progress, dana
should be developed to overcome stinginess, which is connected to greed / ill will / cruelty:
"Without abandoning these five qualities, one is incapable of entering & remaining in the first jhana... the second jhana... the third jhana... the fourth jhana; incapable of realizing the fruit of stream-entry... the fruit of once-returning... the fruit of non-returning... arahantship. Which five? Stinginess as to one's monastery, stinginess as to one's family [of supporters], stinginess as to one's gains, stinginess as to one's status, and ingratitude [but "and stinginess as to the Dhamma" instead of ingratitude in AN 5.256, which appears to fit here better]. Without abandoning these five qualities, one is incapable of entering & remaining in the first jhana... the second jhana... the third jhana... the fourth jhana; one is incapable realizing the fruit of stream-entry... the fruit of once-returning... the fruit of non-returning... arahantship.
"With the abandoning of these five qualities, one is capable of entering & remaining in the first jhana... the second jhana... the third jhana... the fourth jhana; capable of realizing the fruit of stream-entry... the fruit of once-returning... the fruit of non-returning... arahantship..."
— AN 5.256-263But exactly what should be cultivated for dana?
"And what is the treasure of generosity? There is the case of a disciple of the noble ones, his awareness cleansed of the stain of stinginess, living at home, freely generous [giving without attachment to worldly gains?], giving with one’s own hands [?; according to the equivalent of Agama*], delighting in being magnanimous [generous/letting go], responsive to requests, delighting in the distribution of alms. This is called the treasure of generosity." — AN 7.6
“Again, Mahānāma, you should recollect your own generosity thus: ‘It is truly my good fortune and gain that in a population obsessed by the stain of miserliness, I abide with a mind devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, giving with my own hands (?), delighting in relinquishment (letting go), devoted to generosity, and rejoice in giving and sharing.’" — AN 11.13
"Giving is good, dear sir! Even when there's next to nothing, giving is good. Giving with conviction is good! The giving of what's righteously gained is good! And further: Giving with discretion is good!
It's praised by the One Well-gone: giving with discretion, to those worthy of offerings
here in the world of the living. What's given to them bears great fruit like seeds sown in a good field."— SN 1.33 [because weed (greed, aversion and delusion) damage fields (beings); therefore, giving to those free of the above yields great benefit (Dhammapada 356,357,358 & 359 )] [For those who are worthy of offerings see Ang Nik. 57]
"But when a man or woman has laid aside a well-stored fund of generosity, virtue, restraint, & self-control, with regard to a shrine, the Sangha, a fine individual, guests, mother, father, or elder (why not younger?) sibling
: That's a well-stored fund. It can't be wrested away. It follows you along.” (khp 8. Nidhi Kanda — The Reserve Fund)
"And how is a donation endowed with six factors? There is the case where the donor has three factors and the recipients have three. And which are the donor's three factors. There is the case where the donor, before giving, is happy. While giving his/her mind is clear & confident. After giving, he/she is gratified.
There are the donor's three factors. And which are the recipients' three factors? There is the case where the recipients are free from passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; they are free of aversion or are practicing for the subduing of aversion; they are free of delusion or are practicing for the subduing of delusion.
These are the recipients' three factors …” (AN 6.37)
"Once King Pasenadi of Kosak asked the Buddha to whom alms should be given, and the Buddha replied that one should give to that person, to whom, when given one feels fulfilled and glad at heart. In the same context another question is asked, given to whom does it bear great fruit? the Buddha replied that alms given to the virtuous bears great fruit". -- S.I.: 97
"Ananda, of these fourteen kinds of offering, an offering made to an animal would result in a hundred fold benefit. An offering made to a common worldling who is without morality would result in a thousandfold benefit. An offering made to a common worldling who is endowed with morality would result in a hundred- thousand-fold benefit. An offering made in a period when the Buddha's Teaching is absent to one who lives detached from sensual pleasures would result in benefit multiplied by a thousand crores. An offering made to one who is practising to attain Sotapatti Fruition would result in benefit which is immeasurable and limitless. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to a Sotapanna. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to one who is practising to attain Sakadagami Fruition. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to a Sakadagami. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to one who is practising to attain Anagami Fruition. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to an Anagami. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to one who is practising to attain Arahatta Fruition. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to an arahat. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to a Paccekabuddha. There is no need to say how much more would be the benefit that accrues from an offering made to a Tathagata who is worthy of special veneration and who is Perfectly Self-Enlightened." [The Dakkhinavibhanga Sutta]
“In the Anguttara Nikaya the Buddha describes, with sacrificial terminology, three types of fires that should be tended with care and honor (Ang Nik iv, 44). They are ahuneyyaggi, gahapataggi and dakkhineyyaggi. The Buddha explained that ahuneyyaggi means one's parents
, and they should be honored and cared for. Gahapataggi means one's wife and children, employees and dependents.
Dakkineyyaggi represents religious persons
who have either attained the goal of arahantship or have embarked on a course of training for the elimination of negative mental traits. All these should be cared for and looked after as one would tend a sacrificial fire. According to the Maha-mangala Sutta, offering hospitality to one's relatives
is one of the great auspicious deeds a layperson can perform (Sn. 262-63).”
“Recluses (samana), brahmans (brahmana), destitutes (kapana), wayfarers (addhika), wanderers (vanibbaka) and beggars (yacaka) are particularly in need of public generosity (D.i, 137; ii,354; iii,76).” (From Giving in the Pali Canon: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#pali
)Manner of giving:
"These five are a person of integrity's gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction
. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively.
A person of integrity gives a gift in season
. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart
. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others
Sakkaccam danam deti: alms should be given in such a way that the donee does not feel humiliated, belittled or hurt.
Cittikatva danam deti: alms should be given with due consideration and respect.
Sahattha deti: one should give with one's own hand.
Na apaviddham deti: one should not give as alms what is only fit to be thrown away.
Na anagamanaditthiko deti: one should not give in such a callous manner so as to make the donee not feel like coming again.And how to overcome stinginess/develop dana?
I've found the following helpful:
“What the miser fears,
that keeps him from giving,
is the very danger that comes when he doesn't give.”
— SN I.32
"What isn't given is lost:
So when the world is on fire with aging and death,
one should salvage [one's wealth] by giving:
what's given is well salvaged.
What's given bears fruit as pleasure.
What isn't given does not:
thieves take it away, or kings;
it gets burnt by fire or lost.
Then in the end
you leave the body together with your possessions.
Knowing this, the intelligent man enjoys possessions & gives.
Having enjoyed & given in line with your means,
uncensured you go to the heavenly state."
— SN 1.41
Conquer anger with lack of anger; bad, with good; stinginess, with a gift (dana)
; a liar, with truth." — Dhp 223
“If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would
noteat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their
Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat
without having shared, if there were someone to receive their gift.
But because beings do not know, as I know, the results of giving and
sharing, they eat without having given.
The stain of miserliness overcomes their minds.”
(for more of the collection of suttas on dana
see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html
"Generosity is one of the ways you pay off that debt (the personal debt to our parents ...), and it's also one of the valuable ways you interact well with other beings, benefiting both them and yourself in the process".
"By being generous — not only with material things but also with your time, your energy, your forgiveness, your willingness to be fair and just with other people — you create a good world in which to live [and a broad/spacious mind].
"You give away a material object and you gain in generous qualities of mind. You give away your defilements, and you gain freedom."
[from Ven. Thanissaro's talks "Meditations" (available at ATI)]
Through our mindful practice of dana
, we use wise reflection. We consider our giving in a very thoughtful, careful, and respectful manner." http://web.archive.org/web/200508290044 ... /dana.html More important suttas on this topic:
Visakha's profound dana
wisdom: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dana-givi ... ?var=0&l=1
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The Scale of Good Deeds/Gifts (from low to high): http://www.vimokkha.com/velama.htm
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Give with right attitude and belief -- Give to the worthy recipients -- Sincerely taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha -- Sincerely undertaking the Five Moral Precepts -- Developing metta -- Cultivating the awareness of anicca (which will lead to the awareness of dhukka and anatta …)
The Anguttara Nikaya mentions five great gifts (the meticulous observance of the Five Precepts) which have been held in high esteem by noble-minded men from ancient times (A.iv,246). By doing so one gives fearlessness, love and benevolence to all beings.
The Magha Sutta mentions that hates gets eliminated when one is established in generosity (Sn. 506).
The rich become spiritually richer by providing material assistance to the poor; independable, unsure outer material wealth should better be used to generate long-lasting, secure inner spiritual wealth. Some other source:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el367.htmlhttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/dana-givi ... nt=-30&l=1
Looking forward to your input. Metta to all!
1. * Chinese agama equivalents:
“云何施具足。謂善男子離慳垢心。在於居家。行解脫施。常自手與。樂修行捨。 至心行施[“以其至心故行施也”]。是名善男子施具足。” [雜阿含經] 91經 [I think “等心行施” should be “至心行施”]
2. Dāna: 'foodgiving', generosity , offering.caga
: means generosity, "but with a connotation of surrender or letting go. It is
possible to give without generosity. And yet for dana
to bring merit, one
must cultivate caga
is the attitude that underlies dana