Sutta about the merit of meditation

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Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby greenfrog » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:05 am

Hi all,

Quite a while ago I read a sutta which gradually compared the merit gained from all kinds of offerings, such as almsfood, building temples and whatnot, to the merit gained from a single day spent in meditation.

Could anyone please point me in the right direction, as I'm having a terrible time trying to find it once again. I remember the conclusion being something like one single moment spent meditating results in an immeasurable amount of merit, with various similes such as a grain of sand compared to the Ganges.

Thanks heaps.
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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:24 am

Perhaps AN 8.36? It involves three routes of merit: generosity, morality, cultivation. Various iterations of the three in combination are connected with various realms.

Dhammapada, verse 111 offers a similar idea.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:30 am

Perhaps AN 9.20 Velàmasutta, at the bottom of this page:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html
Householder, if the Brahmin Velama when giving those gifts satisfied a single one, who had come to righteousness of view, ... re ... one hundred, who had come to righteousness of view, a single once returner, ... re ... satisfied one hundred once returners, a single non-returner ... re ... one hundred non-returners, a single worthy one, ... re ... a hundred worthy ones, a single self enlightened one, ... re ... a hundred self enlightened ones, the Thus Gone One, worthy and rightfully enlightened ... re ... the Community of bhikkhus headed by the Enlightened One ... re ... constructed a monastery for the Community of bhikkhus coming from the four directions ... re ... with a pleasant mind took refuge in the Enlightened One, the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus, ... re ... with a pleasant mind observed the precepts - to abstain from, destroying living things, taking the not given, wrong sexual behaviour, telling lies, intoxicating and brewed drinks, developed the thought of loving kindness as long as a smell was prevailing, developed the perception of impermanence so long as snapping the fingers, its benefits would have been very much more
.
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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby greenfrog » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:50 am

Thanks daverupa, but unfortunately AN 8.36 is not the one I am searching for.

Thanks also Mike, AN 9.20 is much closer to the one I have in mind, although I clearly remember it mentioning offerings such as temples being built, and also things such as an offering of almsfood to a monk as opposed to an Arahant.

Sorry my explanation is not clearer! It's such a difficult thing to search for as well.
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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:43 am

Hi Greenfrog,

Those things are mentioned in the sutta I linked to. I only quoted part of it (and it's not a great translation...).

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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby greenfrog » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:11 am

My sincere apologies Mike! This is indeed the one I had in mind, I just didn't recognise it upon first read through. Thanks heaps!

I found a slightly easier to read translation here for anyone interested: http://www.vimokkha.com/velama.htm

Thanks again :)
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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby manas » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:08 am

From the Velama Sutta:
“…and though he fed a Sammasambuddha, the fruit of feeding the Order of monks with the Buddha at its head would have been greater.”

“…and though he fed the Sangha with the Buddha at its head, the fruit of building a monastery for the use of the Sangha would have been greater.”

“…and though he built a monastery for the monks, the fruit of sincerely taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha would have been greater.”

“…and though he sincerely took refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha, the fruit of sincerely undertaking the Five Moral Precepts would have been greater...”


Sometimes I hear Buddhists feeling despondent that 'all they really do is follow the five precepts, and do a bit of meditation', as though this were 'not a big deal'. But, if they are undertaking them sincerely, such persons should take heart from this sutta. It sounds as though the five precepts, if really taken to heart, are a source of much happiness.

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Re: Sutta about the merit of meditation

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:46 am

May be the Kutadanta Sutta, from the Dighanikaya.
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