Gifts and their kammic reward

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Gifts and their kammic reward

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:21 am

Greetings,

The suttas explain that dana offered to a perfectly enlightened Buddha brings greater fruit than a gift to an Arahant, which brings greater fruit than a gift to a Non-Returner and so on down the chain of enlightenment through to the unenlightened wanderers of other sects.

I'm wondering what the explanation for this kammic correlation is? What is it that makes it so?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Gifts and their kammic reward

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:26 am

Greetings

Related content from Doubting the Kālāma-Sutta: Epistemology, Ethics, and the ‘Sacred’ by Stephen A. Evans

Gifts to a Buddha at critical moments of his life
access the most puñña of all, even though the donor may not know that it is a critical
moment, or even that the recipient is a Buddha. In the Mahāparinibbāna-sutta
(DN II 135–6), the Buddha enumerates two gifts of ‘very great fruit’: the gift of a
Buddha’s final meal before Parinibbāna, and the gift of the last meal to a Bodhisatta
before he achieves supreme enlightenment. Cunda, whose gift of the Buddha’s
final meal (DN II 126–7), thereby of very great fruit, could not have known that
it was the final meal.


and...

The Dakkhinavibhanga-sutta
(MN II 253–7) enumerates the multiplier effect that higher stages of virtue of the
recipient have on the potency of the gift. It is not to be expected that the giver would
know, for example, what stage of enlightenment, if any, a particular recipient had
achieved. Moreover, the virtue of the recipient can purify, or make karmically
effective, gifts given by unvirtuous persons without trust or even faith in the effectiveness
of gifts. The intention of the donor plays a role as well, of course, and the
virtue of the donor can purify the gift even where the recipient lacks virtue (MN
II 257).


Again, what makes it so?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Gifts and their kammic reward

Postby Jechbi » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:26 am

Maybe it takes extraordinary kamma to be in the position to make such a gift in the first place? So such a gift by its nature involves the fruition of something rare and wonderful.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Gifts and their kammic reward

Postby SeerObserver » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:The suttas explain that dana offered to a perfectly enlightened Buddha brings greater fruit than a gift to an Arahant, which brings greater fruit than a gift to a Non-Returner and so on down the chain of enlightenment through to the unenlightened wanderers of other sects.

The suttas may also say to praise those worthy of praise.

Evan aside from that, dana is a virtue to practice at all times, but it follows naturally that dana extended to higher beings yields greater fruit of merit. This is in part due to virtuosity, but also in part to what will take place after the fact. You feed a starving animal and it will continue to live and merely continue to act in the capacity of an animal. Giving alms to a Sammasambuddha contributes to the continuation of that being, which enables that being to spread more teachings of the Dhamma. That will lead to more spiritual progress and enlightenments to take place...and the dominoes continue to fall.
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