Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:09 am

I remember having read somewhere that in one of the pregious births of Gautama Buddha, he kept on donating for several years to all who came to seek, further he states that all that Dana had a lesser merit than what would come of one time feeding / donating to a single sotapanna ( which he could not do at that point since the were no Ariyas existing in human world at that time).

Now my question is suppose somebody has a son/ daughter who becomes a sotapanna ( and continues to be a householder) in such a case would the parents / friends / other relatives of that person not gain extraordinary merit by virtue of offering food/ gifts/ other normal courtesies to that individual in normal course of life ( even if this individual does not disclose his attainments).

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby manas » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:13 am

I read once that we 'obtain merit' even just by throwing out scraps of food into the wild, with the thought "may any living beings who are able to, make use of this as food" or words to that effect. If feeding a human being, more 'merit'; and if feeding a saint, even more.

But personally, I prefer to think of searching out for the one in greatest need, rather than for 'how much merit I can make' for myself. Thus, if I saw a starving beggar child on one side of the road, and an already well-attended to sotapanna on the other, I would think to myself "well it looks as though the sotapanna already has enough to eat for today, so I will give this food to the starving child instead." I would actually be quite happy to sacrifice my 'extra merit points' in this way.

But as to your original question - the answer is yes, as I understand it. Even unknowingly feeding an ariya would have great benefit for the donor. Apparently the Universe makes distinctions like this. Can't argue with the Universe, I guess! :shrug:

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:05 am

parth wrote:Now my question is suppose somebody has a son/ daughter who becomes a sotapanna ( and continues to be a householder) in such a case would the parents / friends / other relatives of that person not gain extraordinary merit by virtue of offering food/ gifts/ other normal courtesies to that individual in normal course of life ( even if this individual does not disclose his attainments).


You mean doing what parents / friends / other relatives normally do as parents / friends / other relatives?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:20 am

Goofaholix wrote:
parth wrote:Now my question is suppose somebody has a son/ daughter who becomes a sotapanna ( and continues to be a householder) in such a case would the parents / friends / other relatives of that person not gain extraordinary merit by virtue of offering food/ gifts/ other normal courtesies to that individual in normal course of life ( even if this individual does not disclose his attainments).


You mean doing what parents / friends / other relatives normally do as parents / friends / other relatives?



Yes, if the person concerned was still a child or a teenager he / she would still be dependant on his parents and later on as well take their hospitality from time to time. Going to friends / relatives place for lunch etc.

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:40 am

Are you thinking of anyone in particular?
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:39 pm

parth wrote:Yes, if the person concerned was still a child or a teenager he / she would still be dependant on his parents and later on as well take their hospitality from time to time. Going to friends / relatives place for lunch etc.


Do you think such people do what they do for the merit? perhaps they love their child regardless of whether he/she is a sotapanna and that is more important don't you think?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:47 am

Goofaholix wrote:
parth wrote:Yes, if the person concerned was still a child or a teenager he / she would still be dependant on his parents and later on as well take their hospitality from time to time. Going to friends / relatives place for lunch etc.


Do you think such people do what they do for the merit? perhaps they love their child regardless of whether he/she is a sotapanna and that is more important don't you think?


Dear Goofaholix,

I never stated that the relatives and friends do it for merit, my question is ' even if the concerned individual does not disclose his attainments ( which he/ she will most probably not disclose) will his friends / relatives / parents generate extraordinary merit for themselves due to the offerings which they make to him / her in normal course of life.'

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:09 am

parth wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:
parth wrote:Yes, if the person concerned was still a child or a teenager he / she would still be dependant on his parents and later on as well take their hospitality from time to time. Going to friends / relatives place for lunch etc.


Do you think such people do what they do for the merit? perhaps they love their child regardless of whether he/she is a sotapanna and that is more important don't you think?


Dear Goofaholix,

I never stated that the relatives and friends do it for merit, my question is ' even if the concerned individual does not disclose his attainments ( which he/ she will most probably not disclose) will his friends / relatives / parents generate extraordinary merit for themselves due to the offerings which they make to him / her in normal course of life.'

Regards

Parth


Hi,

I don't think that merit is distributed by "the universe" or anything else like that at all. Generating merit, in my opinion depends on intention, like everything else we do. A wholesome state of mind accompanied by right intentions performing wholesome actions will lead to beneficial or meritorious results. I don't think it matters much whether you unknowingly make offerings to somebody who is a sotāpanna or to any other living being as long as your intentions are genuine. To believe that making offerings to someone special would generate more merit than making offerings to someone "not so special" gives rise to a somewhat dangerous view of "beings with certain values". It is not about our "external actions" but about our inner attitude which generates meritorious results.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby kirk5a » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:27 pm

acinteyyo wrote:I don't think it matters much whether you unknowingly make offerings to somebody who is a sotāpanna or to any other living being as long as your intentions are genuine.

It can matter who the recipient is. That person acts also, and their actions might be reciprocal, depending on how generous they are, as well as their other qualities. That one might look for an opportunity to teach you the Dhamma. That is just one for-instance, there may be other ways in which it does in fact matter.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby whynotme » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:06 pm

acinteyyo wrote:Hi,

I don't think that merit is distributed by "the universe" or anything else like that at all. Generating merit, in my opinion depends on intention, like everything else we do. A wholesome state of mind accompanied by right intentions performing wholesome actions will lead to beneficial or meritorious results. I don't think it matters much whether you unknowingly make offerings to somebody who is a sotāpanna or to any other living being as long as your intentions are genuine. To believe that making offerings to someone special would generate more merit than making offerings to someone "not so special" gives rise to a somewhat dangerous view of "beings with certain values". It is not about our "external actions" but about our inner attitude which generates meritorious results.

best wishes, acinteyyo

Dear acinteyyo,

As for universe, I think manas meant natural law of kamma as the Buddha already found out, giving to sotapanna is much much more than giving to normal people. The result of actions, in general, depends on two factors, the one giving the action and the one receive the action. Killing hundreds men but still can attain arahanship later, in case of Ven. Angulimala, but just kill one arahant and no one can save you from hell. For a normal person, i.e a robber, how can you recognize an arahant? It is not fair if you are in a human court, but you cant argue with the law of kamma. If the food is poisoned, knowing or not, eating eat will make you die. And knowing a person an arahant or not, killing him is just that, un-save-able.

In one sutta the Buddha said that, for benefit, giving to normal people << sotapanna << sakadagami << anagami << arahant << pacceka buddha << sammasam buddha << a moment of practicing metta << a moment of practicing observing impermanence.
IIRC, it is thousands times smaller, i.e giving to a thousand arahants is smaller than giving just to a pacceka buddha and so on. Giving to a paceka buddha you can have several lives as king or billionaire or devas, but by practicing metta you can become brahma with comforts and life span much better than the best of human and devas. And by observing impermanence you can end it all.

Well, and in case I meet a hungry child and a sotapanna or similarities (arahant..), I will give it all to the sotapanna and let manas care for the child :tongue: IMO, noble person is very rare, and life is unpredictable, what if he or I die that very day, then it means I just lost my lottery jackpot. No, I would not let it happen :mrgreen:

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:52 pm

For me, even between a hungry child and a healthy sammasambuddha, I'd definitely give to the hungry child without hesitation. I think this is what the Buddha really meant when He taught that the merit of giving to a sammasambuddha is still much less than a moment of practicing metta or contemplating impermanence..
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:34 pm

santa100 wrote:For me, even between a hungry child and a healthy sammasambuddha, I'd definitely give to the hungry child without hesitation. I think this is what the Buddha really meant when He taught that the merit of giving to a sammasambuddha is still much less than a moment of practicing metta or contemplating impermanence..



Well, slightly on jocular side, why not give both !

But my original question was something different ! Will giving to a sotapanna who is a relative and householder in normal course of life still constitute an extraordinary merit ? In which case mata vishakha's parents / in laws would have been so fortunate since she attained sotapanna stage as a child.

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:15 am

If you have enough to give to both, then it wouldn't be a problem to start out with right? Back to your original question, there's no doubt that one'd gain great merit by offering to a sotapanna, but according to the Buddha, that merit is only a grain of sand compared to a moment of practicing metta or contemplation on impermanence..
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby whynotme » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:24 am

santa100 wrote:For me, even between a hungry child and a healthy sammasambuddha, I'd definitely give to the hungry child without hesitation. I think this is what the Buddha really meant when He taught that the merit of giving to a sammasambuddha is still much less than a moment of practicing metta or contemplating impermanence..

Oh, your point is worthy. And it rises a thought on me, what if I give it to the buddha, after accept it, will he give back to the child? Will this strategy kill two bird with one meal? And in case if he give it back to the child, would the merit for me still be the same if he doesn't eat the food?

To be realistic, imagine you only have a pie, or an orange to offer, or just a cookie, it is very hard to give to both of them. And maybe you are just a traveler, just recently being converted to Buddhism and you meet the Buddha and a hungry child on the road, or you are a soldier on the way to the battlefield. It may be your last chance to meet them, which one you will give? And the reason, why?

@ parth, I agree with santa and manas that giving to sotapannas bring great merit, and their parent/ relatives must done some good actions to have sons/daughters like that.

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:01 pm

Too much merit could be a dangerous thing. The suttas mentioned that a deva who enjoys all the luxury and comfort in their heavenly world wouldn't tend to see the necessity and the urgency for Dhamma practice. A more important question is that given all the merits that you have, what are you gonna do with them? If one doesn't learn and practice the Buddha's teaching, s/he could have merits the size of mount Meru and they wouldn't do a thing to help delivering one from samsara..
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:08 pm

santa100 wrote:Too much merit could be a dangerous thing. The suttas mentioned that a deva who enjoys all the luxury and comfort in their heavenly world wouldn't tend to see the necessity and the urgency for Dhamma practice. A more important question is that given all the merits that you have, what are you gonna do with them? If one doesn't learn and practice the Buddha's teaching, s/he could have merits the size of mount Meru and they wouldn't do a thing to help delivering one from samsara..


Lack of merits are equally if not more dangerous. Being able to learn dhamma and vipassana also needs merits. Thinking that merit accumulation is bad is alarmingly strange view. Yes Metta bhavna is very very good and can be done while doing Dana as well. both are not mutually exclusive.

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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby DAWN » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:28 pm

To obtain a "Buddha machine"
we must take 1 sotapanna and 1 layman
when layman offer food to sotapanna, sotapanna offer the same food to lay man, after, layman offer again to sotapanna, and sotapanna retourn it to layman... Until they will librated :toast:

But seriosly:

Mind is like a mirrow. Ariya have a clear and smooth mirrow, also his mind is concentrated, so if you do somethink to Ariya, its will be reflect exacltly, and will be multiplied by thousand millions, like a sun light becomes a fire if we focused it by lens.

The food is the form 1
The mind of layman is like (+)1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 or (-)1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 [depending on the mativation, egoistic creative/destructive motivation is +/-1, altruistic creative/destructive motivation is +/-9], he identify himself with the form, he dont know his true nature of 0 (zero), so he is just 1-9, and he multiply all form by his mind 1-9, actualy a food
The Ariya is like 10, he have 0 of clear mind but 1-9 of form (body) that still here, so he is like 10-90.

When a layman-9 offer food-1 to sotapanna-10, he offer his 1x9 of food to 1 of body's sotapanna , but sotapanna have his realisation of 0, and so, by offering a food to sotapanna's body, lay man obtain 1x9x10 of merit, and not 1x9x1 if this offering is made to an animal for example.

So his food 1 will be multiplyed by 90, and will be returned to him like 90

Of corse is not exactly like that, but the mechanism is here.



A Heart Released
The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera
§15. The nine abodes of living beings.

The realms of the heavenly beings, the human realm, and the realms of destitution (apaya) are classed as the sensual realm, the abode of living beings who indulge in sensuality. Taken together, they count as one. The realms of form, the abodes of living beings who have attained rupa jhana, are four. The realms of formlessness, the abodes of living beings who have attained arupa jhana, are also four. So altogether there are nine abodes for living beings. Those — the arahants — who are wise to the nine abodes leave them and don't have to live in any of them. This appears in the last of the Novice's Questions (samanera-panha), 'dasa nama kim' — What is ten? — which is answered. 'dasahangehi samaññagato arahati vuccati ti' — The arahant, one who is endowed with ten qualities, gains release from the nine abodes of living beings. This can be compared to writing the numerals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. 1 to 9 are numbers that can be counted, named, added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. As for ten — 1 and 0 (zero) — when we erase the 1, because it's a repetition, we are left with 0 (zero). If we use 0 to add, subtract, multiply, or divide with any other number, it won't increase the value of that number; and 0 by itself has no value at all — but you can't say that it doesn't exist, because there it is. The same is true with the heart: It's a nature whose attributes are like 0. When 0 is connected to any other number, it greatly increases the value of that number. For instance, 1 connected with 0 becomes 10. So it is with the heart. When connected with anything, it instantly proliferates into things elaborate and fantastic. But when trained until it is wise and discerning with regard to all knowable phenomena, it returns to its state as 0 (zero) — empty, open, and clear, beyond all counting and naming. It doesn't stay in the nine places that are abodes for living beings. Instead, it stays in a place devoid of supposing and formulation: its inherent nature as 0 (zero), or activityless-ness, as mentioned in § 14.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eased.html
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:49 am

I guess in general it is not easy if not even impossible for an ordinary person to recognice a noble person. It might be different if a person has entered the state of the 1. person on the 4 pairs (someone who really strives -or is on the way - for/to the first fruit).

Generally personal Dana is mostly more contraproductive (Dana means learning letting go!) as we are mostly very attached to make "good" things rather that to practice letting go.

The Dana - section in "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" by Ashin Janakabhivamsa might be a useful spring for a good unerstanding of Dana.

Back to the sutta, that might have given an inspiration of this ideas in the OP, it's not so much about that there have been no worthy receiver, but that there very next and more important steps are much more of value:

About Velāma

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Then Anāthapiṇḍika the householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Householder, are gifts still given in your family?"

"Gifts are still given in my family, lord, but they are coarse: broken rice cooked with bran, accompanied by pickle brine."[1]

"Householder, regardless of whether a gift is coarse or refined, if it is given inattentively, disrespectfully, not with one's own hand, as if throwing it away, with the view that nothing will come of it: Wherever the result of that gift comes to fruition, one's mind will not incline to the enjoyment of splendid food, will not incline to the enjoyment of splendid clothing, will not incline to the enjoyment of splendid vehicles, will not incline to the enjoyment of the splendid five strings of sensuality. And one's sons & daughters, slaves, servants, & workers will not listen to one, will not lend ear, will not make their minds attend for the sake of knowledge. Why is that? Because that is the result of inattentive actions.

"Householder, regardless of whether a gift is coarse or refined, if it is given attentively, respectfully, with one's own hand, not as if throwing it away, with the view that something will come of it: Wherever the result of that gift comes to fruition, one's mind will incline to the enjoyment of splendid food, will incline to the enjoyment of splendid clothing, will incline to the enjoyment of splendid vehicles, will incline to the enjoyment of the splendid five strings of sensuality. And one's sons & daughters, slaves, servants, & workers will listen to one, will lend ear, will make their minds attend for the sake of knowledge. Why is that? Because that is the result of attentive actions.

"Once, householder, there was a brahman named Velāma. And this was the nature of the gift, the great gift, he gave: He gave 84,000 gold trays filled with silver, 84,000 silver trays filled with gold, 84,000 copper trays filled with gems. He gave 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 chariots spread with lion skins, tiger skins, leopard skins, saffron-colored blankets, with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 milk cows with tethers of fine jute and copper milk pails. He gave 84,000 maidens adorned with jeweled earrings. He gave 84,000 couches spread with long-fleeced coverlets, white wool coverlets, embroidered coverlets, rugs of kadali-deer hide, each with a canopy above & red cushions on either side. He gave 84,000 lengths of cloth — of finest linen, of finest cotton, of finest silk.[2] To say nothing of the food & drink, staple & non-staple food, lotions & beddings: They flowed, as it were, like rivers.

"Now, householder, if the thought should occur to you, 'Perhaps it was someone else who at that time was Velāma the brahman, who gave that gift, that great gift,' that's not how it should be seen. I was Velāma the brahman at that time. I gave that gift, that great gift. But in that gift there was no one worthy of offerings; no one purified that gift.

"If one were to feed one person consummate in view, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the brahman gave.

"If one were to feed one once-returner, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the brahman gave, and if [in addition to that] one were to feed one person consummate in view, and to feed 100 people consummate in view.

"If one were to feed one non-returner, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed 100 once-returners.

"If one were to feed one arahant, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed 100 non-returners.

"If one were to feed one Private Buddha, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed 100 arahants.

"If one were to feed one Tathagata — a worthy one, rightly self-awakened — that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed 100 Private Buddhas.

"If one were to feed a community of monks headed by the Buddha, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed a Tathagata — a worthy one, rightly self-awakened.

"If one were to have a dwelling built and dedicated to the Community of the four directions, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to feed a community of monks headed by the Buddha.

"If one with a confident mind were to go to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha for refuge, that would be more fruitful than... if one were to have a dwelling built and dedicated to the Community of the four directions.

"If one with a confident mind were to undertake the training rules — refraining from taking life, refraining from taking what is not given, refraining from illicit sex, refraining from lying, refraining from distilled & fermented drinks that cause heedlessness — that would be more fruitful than... if one with a confident mind were to go to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha for refuge.

"If one were to develop even just one whiff of a heart of good will, that would be more fruitful than... if one with a confident mind were to undertake the training rules...

"If one were to develop even for just a finger-snap the perception of inconstancy, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the brahman gave, and [in addition to that] if one were to feed one person... 100 people consummate in view, and were to feed one once-returner... 100 once-returners, and were to feed one non-returner... 100 non-returners, and were to feed one arahant... 100 arahants, and were to feed one Private Buddha... 100 Private Buddhas, and were to feed a Tathagata — a worthy one, rightly self-awakened — and were to feed a community of monks headed by the Buddha, and were to have a dwelling built and dedicated to the Community of the four directions, and with a confident mind were to go to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha for refuge, and with a confident mind were to undertake the training rules — refraining from taking life, refraining from taking what is not given, refraining from illicit sex, refraining from lying, refraining from distilled & fermented drinks that cause heedlessness — and were to develop even just one whiff of a heart of good will."


Also usefull might be Dana:
To reap the highest rewards, to whom should we give?

"Even if a person throws the rinsings of a bowl or a cup into a village pool or pond, thinking, 'May whatever animals live here feed on this,' that would be a source of merit, to say nothing of what is given to human beings. But I do say that what is given to a virtuous person is of great fruit, and not so much what is given to an unvirtuous person. And the virtuous person has abandoned five factors and is endowed with five.

"Which five has he abandoned? He has abandoned sensual desire... ill will... sloth & drowsiness... restlessness & anxiety... uncertainty. These are the five factors he has abandoned. And with which five is he endowed? He is endowed with the aggregate of virtue of one beyond training... the aggregate of concentration of one beyond training... the aggregate of discernment of one beyond training... the aggregate of release of one beyond training... the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release of one beyond training. These are the five factors with which he is endowed.

"I tell you: What is given to one who has abandoned these five factors and is endowed with these five, bears great fruit."

— AN 3.57

There are these eight individuals who are worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world. Which eight?

The one who has entered the stream, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry, the once-returner, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of non-returning, the arahant, the one who has entered upon the course for arahantship

These are the eight individuals who are worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.

— AN 8.59


Of cause it would be very teacherous to try to make high Dana while keeping Silas especially if one would try to do so with his relative. :pig: very teaching!
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Dear Hanzze,

Did not quite understand the meaning of your last sentence :"of course .......... Very teaching".

Also please understand the point here is not what somebody is doing for increasing his merit. The relatives may not even know if a person is a sotapanna and only out of genuine love, affection given to a son / daughter / relative or friend may be offering the gifts / food / clothing etc without any intention of increasing one's merits. However will these actions having been done with great love from say a father to son / daughter and the son / daughter being a rare virtuous person not lead to extraordinary merit for the father / mother / other friends or relatives.

Metta

Parth
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Re: Having a relative/ friend who is Sotapanna

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:42 am

Dear Parth,

one aspect of meritiouse Dana is that it might be given to somebody who does not produce further kamma. That would not have "direct" effects for somebody who does unintentional so. The other aspect is that one is training in letting go. Letting go of ones possession will have direct impact on one self by doing so. If one is practising letting go, and unintentional supportes unvirtuose persons, it might lead to the produce of furthrt kamma. That would have "indirect" effects for somebody who does this unintentional.

Unintentional mostly means, not knowing, being not aware, and we know that moha has also its impacts. General there is nothing like accidently merits. Also love is mostly not a resource for gooing real good deeds. Love might be able to work till a point where giving and taking might find a balance, if love is generated in direction of all beings.

Maybe a parable might help: Supposed one loves a person (the Buddha for example) but does not know what he is about. He identifies him self with that person, projects him self in this person. His love, services and support would have nothing but selfish intentions (ragga character, which is very similar to the saddha character) and even he would love and act for the most holly "being" he would not gain any merits from it. Why is that so? Because his thoughts (view) is not right and out of the wrong view, his intentions are wrong. He/she acts out of moha or in that case it might be lobha (greed/love).

How ever, there are things every person and being is worthy to get: food, clothing, housing and medicin. One can not fail in sharing if needed by someone and one has a possibility to share (Attation: taking additional to share has no good effects).

A child is somebody who normaly learns, learing and study, even if it is not directly Dhamma but "just" general knowledge falls under the ten punna kiriyavatthu (meritious actions). So in supporting a child in the therms of needed (!!) so that it might continue his mertious deeds, is in any way from good effects (even it might be not form the best effect for the supporter, if his views, thoughts are selfish directed -> "May my child grow to a successfull person so that it will support me when I am old...").

How ever, it is always good and importand to look at ones own intentions what ever action is supported and let step by step go of our most misunderstood interpretations of what is good and what is not good. Intentions is kamma. The lesser self/other is involved, the better will be the effect. For all, even if not understood.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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