Making Merit - or is it craving?

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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:30 am

kirk5a wrote:
Hanzze wrote:Can you bring a sample.

Have an excellent day Hanzze.

Thanks! That is what Dana is about. Letting go of possession while maintaing a wholesome mind state (before, while doing and after)

David N. Snyder wrote:
Ben wrote:Yes, intention is key. However, its my contention that even if one is mainly motivated by greed for future rewards, then the act of giving itself must contain some moments of genuine selfless generosity for that individual to give at all.


I agree. The end does not always justify the means, however, some giving, any giving, even with some expectation, is better than being a selfish miser who never gives his time, money, or labor to anyone or any cause. The giver may not be an arahant and who are we to judge and speculate on kammic outcomes.

There are very less samples of selfishness giving.

Another example could be the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Sure they are billionaires, sure their name is written all over the foundation, but look how much good they have done; from building homes, providing jobs, scholarships, to vaccinations in the Third World; they have probably saved millions of lives. Perhaps it was to have their name known as philanthropists, perhaps for the Foundation, their legacy, for winning the Time magazine persons of the year. In the end, did it not help so many people? And of course they could have done like many billionaires and buy another yacht, Rolls Royce, etc.

The poppularity of such action is exactly what makes Dana (as merit and not as a require to turn on) not easy be understood by many.

I guess it is needed to divide maybe into maybe three kinds of Dana (giving), one that is aspirated by the motivation of gain (todays way of life), one that is aspirated by the motivation of keeping things equal and alive (the function which might be well explaint in the essey posted by Ben), and on that is aspireted by the motivation of simply letting go of ones possession.

Those samples hit exactly what is told by Bhikkhu Ashin Janakabhivamsa and are in fact a terrible force of distruction of any lasting functioning social system and increasing of thoughts of individualism and an endangering of all traditionall autorities and those action are comming back.


Receiving is also another good practice. As lay people there are plenty of times we receive gifts from others. Does jealousy arise, do we question the value of the gifts, the motive of the giver? If so, then we are not acting in a wholesome way as the receiver either. Such mind states would be the far enemy of mudita (and probably the far enemies of metta, karuna, and upekkha too).

Very good point! Somebody who is not able to receive, not used to receive will hardly be able to give. He just accepts what is good form him in the present moment and he just gives what he means that is good and in a manner of controll or rander the outside like he likes to have it.

Once I was eating with some family and friends at a restaurant and the person who invited all of us went to receive the bill. I knew that he was not of good financial means so offered to pay the bill. This is somewhat a common practice among some people as some will fight for the bill to pay it (perhaps out of generosity or perhaps out of ego). The person who invited us told me that this was his invitation and he insisted he will pay. I realized what a stupid mistake I made and apologized and of course let him pay. As receivers we can make mistakes too, just as the giver may not always have the best motives too.

Great sample, thanks for sharing.

When ever you see a rich man, give him what ever you have. He needs it more then you, but be careful he could be angry about it. So do not make him feel that he is poor.

Ben wrote:I recently completed reading a very interesting work which discussed at length the role of merit making in Burmese society and how it binds the laity, sangha and state together and how it legitimizes the state. It makes for some very interesting reading.
http://www.amazon.com/Burmas-Mass-Lay-M ... 0896802558

I recommend this short and great essay The lessons of gratidute in addition, to understand on one hand the ways of giving and taking to provide a well sociaty and a good live as well as to understand the way out of giving and taking and to understand Dana (letting go) from a very dharmic view.
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:34 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In his Manual of Profound Meaning (Gambhīra Dīpanī) he admonished a rather materialistic Buddhist minister.


Thanks Bhante, I wasn't aware of that publication.
Oh, yes I have, but under its other title “Four Stanzas on Saṃvega.”
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:42 am

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."

...About Velāma
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:02 am

Hanzze wrote:When ever you see a rich man, give him what ever you have. He needs it more then you, but be careful he could be angry about it. So do not make him feel that he is poor.


:jumping:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:11 am

No doer, no doing, nothing/nobody acted upon ... the greatest merit of all :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:26 am

Or the greatest forlornness... One needs to stay very honest to be not in the spheare of ignorance of ignorance and a good meassure is to look if one has more that really needed (four daily new requires) to but honesty into a test.

Some no doer, still fill and open the refrigorator not to speak to maintain it running.

:geek:
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:34 am

Hanzze wrote:Or the greatest forlornness...

Losing fear is great merit :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:37 am

Or (and mostly) a screaming of seeking refuge in moha. Put it into a test, there is no other way to be sure.
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:39 am

Hanzze wrote:Or (and mostly) a screaming of seeking refuge in moha.

Not seeking any refuge at all is the greatest merit. Neither fear, nor hope. :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:43 am

Yes, as I told. Prouf it when the next electric bill comes.

Refuge in what one is not aware is merly an index of great illusion.

Neither fear, nor hope.

Great saying, who taught you that. :console:
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:00 am

Hanzze wrote:Yes, as I told. Prouf it when the next electric bill comes.

Fearing the conditions of life entails investing hope into seeking refuge in ideas.

Hanzze wrote:Refuge in what one is not aware is merly an index of great illusion.

Conscious refuge is consciousness' home. Consciousness fears homelessness. Consciousness arises from formations in the sphere of ignorance (DO).

Hanzze wrote:
Neither fear, nor hope.

Great saying, who taught you that. :console:

It is not about sayings. It is about freeedom from hope and fear which is the greatest merit.
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:14 am

'Consciousness' homelessness does not appear without 'physical' homelessness as well as 'physical' homelessness does not mean that 'Consciousness' homelessness is already reached.

How ever, if somebody is in 'physical' homelessness his preachings could provide people to gain right understanding while if somebody who is not in carge with 'physical' homelessness is preaching and claiming that there is a possible 'Consciousness' homelessness without 'physical' homelessness its speaks for it self.

And again for one self, give it a prove. Dana is a great way to do so. It might if all other factors are allready developed, seem like spontanious bodhi if done in the right way.
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby DAWN » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:42 am

kirk5a wrote:Well I don't see where this level of "absolute metta" fits in to the graduated training.


Where fits 0 relatively 1-9 ?

kirk5a wrote:It sounds like it could (hypothetically) be referring to a level of attainment, rather than something that can actually be practiced.

Attainment brings a natural practice of the one, when he is naturaly practicising.
When he practice naturaly, he reach the "brahmanhood",the atteinment.

kirk5a wrote:The Buddha's instructions are to develop skillful dhammas and abandon unskillful ones, not just "let them be, without correction."

It's true, but is relative practice, is conditioned metta, not absolute practice, not absolute metta.
Why i call it relative practice? Because Good and Bad arise from duality, when there is equanimity, there is no duality, there is no conditions to concider one dhamma as good and one another as bad, they are juste whats they are. We cant kill a virus by sayng that "virus is evil, and brings suffering, so it must die", no, and why not? Because it is his nature. It the same for all dhammas, internal or external.

When our mind see the equnanimity of all dhammas, is like a not wounded hand that handle a poison.
The Bouddha said :

Dhammapada Verse 124
Kukkutamittanesada Vatthu


Panimhi ce vano nassa
hareyya panina visam
nibbanam visamanveti
natthi papam akubbato.

Verse 124: If there is no wound on the hand, one may handle poison; poison does not affect one who has no wound; there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.

http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/ve ... ?verse=124

Also in Dhp, The Bouddha said :

Chapter XXVI. The Holy Man (Braahma.na vagga)
Dhammapada Verse (412)


412. Yodha pu~n~na~nca paapa~nca,
ubho sa"ngamupaccagaa.
Asoka.m viraja.m suddha.m,
tamaha.m bruumi braahma.na.m.

------------

Alternate English Translations:

412. Him I call a brahmana who, in this world, has transcended both ties good
and evil; who is sorrowless and, being free from the taints of moral
defilements, is pure.
(translated by Daw Mya Tin)

412. He who has passed beyond
Good and bad and attachment,
Who is sorrowless, stainless and pure,
Him do I call a brahmana.
(Thai version)

412. He who in this world has transcended the ties of both merit and demerit,
who is sorrowless, stainless and pure; him do I call a holy man.
(translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita)

412. He has gone beyond attachment here for both merit and evil; sorrowless,
dustless, and pure: he's what I call a brahman.
(translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

412. Herein he who has transcended both good and bad and the ties as well, who
is sorrowless, stainless, and pure; him I call a braahma.na.
(translated by Naarada Mahaa Thera)

-------------

Background Story

The Story of Samanera Revata

While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (412), with
reference to Samanera Revata.

One day, the bhikkhus said to the Buddha, "Revata is getting many offerings from
people, he is gaining fame and fortune. Even though he lives alone in the
forest, through supernormal power he has now built five hundred pinnacled
monasteries for five hundred bhikkhus." To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, my
son Revata has discarded all craving; he has transcended both good and evil."

Verse 412: Him I call a brahmana, who, in this world, has transcended both ties
good and evil; who is sorrowless and, being free from the taints of moral
defilements, is pure.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Triplegem/message/11869

kirk5a wrote:Are you suggesting a mass murderer like that fellow had any comprehension whatsoever of anicca, dukkha, anatta? Certainly not.

I dont know what he knew, anyway he said that he practiced meditation, and meditation make him let go all emotions and pitty about a life beings. It's a "dark side" when there is no developped metta. When you anderstand that is all just illution, you can enwelop your mind by wisdom and do what you want without any kamma for you. Why without any kamma for you? Because your mind is clear, calm, not afected, there is no contact between mind and action of body, and when there is no contact there is no consiousness, no agging-and-death etc... Lotus mind, mind that cant be wet.

Some one who practice without metta is potential denger. It's a one of reasons why sometimes MahaMoggalana, and others, sometimes said that he will not teach bhikkhus, beacause they are not ready for this teaching.
If that i said is heretical, please delete this post; or his last part. Thanks.

Metta :meditate:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:09 am

Hanzze wrote:'Consciousness' homelessness does not appear without 'physical' homelessness as well as 'physical' homelessness does not mean that 'Consciousness' homelessness is already reached.

How ever, if somebody is in 'physical' homelessness his preachings could provide people to gain right understanding while if somebody who is not in carge with 'physical' homelessness is preaching and claiming that there is a possible 'Consciousness' homelessness without 'physical' homelessness its speaks for it self.

And again for one self, give it a prove. Dana is a great way to do so. It might if all other factors are allready developed, seem like spontanious bodhi if done in the right way.

Whoever thinks to know does not know. Only freedom can tell but freedom does not come about through thinking "it is like this" or "it is like that".
Religious thought based on hope may provide comfort for the fearful. There is nothing wrong about that. So striving for merit may provide ephemeral feelings of joy and happiness thus making this short period between birth and death a bit more bearable. :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:12 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this short opinion piece:

‘’Upon arriving in southern China in 527 CE, Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch, visited Emperor Wu of Liang at his capital in Nanjing. This monarch was proud of his many great acts of charity: building temples, copying sutras, feeding monks. When he asked Bodhidharma how much merit all this had earned him, he was crestfallen when the monk bluntly told him, "None at all."

Bodhidharma was trying to make a point (you can probably find it by googling him), but there's another point that people ought to think about. I understand that many Thai Buddhists perform acts of charity - donating money to temples, etc - with the intention of earning merit. Such merit-making sounds praiseworthy, but is not entirely altruistic: they expect that the merit thus earned will guarantee them good fortune in this or some future life.

I understand that the Buddha taught that karma is produced, not by specific actions, but by the underlying motivation for those actions. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) He also taught that craving is the cause of suffering. Is it not reasonable to assume that if you perform good works with the motive of gaining good fortune in the future, that craving will undermine and nullify the effects of those good works?

Merit-making with no desire for reward is admirable; but the craving for reward poisons it. As the late Buddhadasa Bhikkhu remarked, "That's not religion; that's just a business deal."’

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 89582.html

with metta
Chris


Hi Chris

Craving is indeed the cause of Suffering, the coming-together again of the 5 Aggregates. But I think the chap who wrote the above may not fully appreciate the position in the Pali Canon.

Firstly, let's deal with -

...the Buddha taught that karma is produced, not by specific actions, but by the underlying motivation for those actions.


This does not seem to be the position contemplated in Dana Sutta, AN 7.49 - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

While intention is important, the manifestation of that intention into action is also a necessary condition for the fruition of kamma. Kamma is after all action, not just merely the intention per se; see AN 6.63 which says -

Cetanāhaṃ bhikkhave kammaṃ vadāmi, cetayitvā kammaṃ karoti kāyena vācāya manasā

Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Having intended, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & mind.


You can see that all of the dana in AN 7.49 are tainted, in one way or another, with craving. All those dana tainted by craving actually produce the good results that are expected.

The clearest exposition for this reality that craving is not incompatible with good rebirth is in the Mahacattarisaka Sutta, MN 117. There, 5 factors of the Noble Eightfold Path are analysed into 2 types, ie whether it is -

1. with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; or
2. noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

The "effluents" are nothing less than the āsavā whose function is to cause rebirth -

In whomever the fermentations (effluents) that defile, that lead to renewed becoming, that give trouble, that ripen in stress, and lead to future birth, aging, & death are not abandoned: Him I call deluded.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Yassa kassaci aggivessana ye āsavā saṅkilesikā ponobhavikā sadarā dukkhavipākā āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇīyā appahīnā, tamahaṃ sammūḷhoti vadāmi.


It is clear from this definition of the āsavā that they are synonymous with Craving.

If there were absolutely no Craving, then the 3rd Noble Truth says that there will be no Suffering. If one does not crave, one will not be reborn! Craving does not nullify the kamma. Craving causes the kamma to ripen!

Which brings me to this weird statement -

Merit-making with no desire for reward is admirable


Even in AN 7.49, in the final case of the dana that leads to Non-Return, there is the subtlest form of craving hiding behind the motive -

cittālaṃkāraṃ cittaparikkhāran'ti
"This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind."


If there were absolutely no craving whatsoever, there would not even be rebirth as a Non-Returner; full Awakening would instead be achieved.
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:15 am

SN1.3 Upanīya Sutta
Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying near Saavatthii, at Jeta Grove, in Anaathapi.n.dika's park. Now a certain deva,[1] as the night was passing away, lighting up the whole Jeta Grove with his effulgent beauty, approached the Blessed One and, having approached, stood on one side.

Standing thus on one side, the deva spoke this verse before the Blessed One:

Life but leads to doom. Our time is short.
From Decay there's naught can keep us safe.
Contemplating thus the fear of death,
Let's make merit that will bring us bliss.

[The Blessed One replied:]
Life but leads to doom. Our time is short.
From Decay there's naught can keep us safe.
Contemplating thus this fear of death,
Scorn such worldly bait, seek final peace.
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.

:anjali:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:28 am

ground wrote:
Hanzze wrote:'Consciousness' homelessness does not appear without 'physical' homelessness as well as 'physical' homelessness does not mean that 'Consciousness' homelessness is already reached.

How ever, if somebody is in 'physical' homelessness his preachings could provide people to gain right understanding while if somebody who is not in carge with 'physical' homelessness is preaching and claiming that there is a possible 'Consciousness' homelessness without 'physical' homelessness its speaks for it self.

And again for one self, give it a prove. Dana is a great way to do so. It might if all other factors are allready developed, seem like spontanious bodhi if done in the right way.

Whoever thinks to know does not know. Only freedom can tell but freedom does not come about through thinking "it is like this" or "it is like that".
Religious thought based on hope may provide comfort for the fearful. There is nothing wrong about that. So striving for merit may provide ephemeral feelings of joy and happiness thus making this short period between birth and death a bit more bearable. :sage:

The religion traumata will also fade away with time and don't worry that others can be caught in it while doning Dana (in a meritious way) as that would not be possible. Just do not rest unhonestly.

Making merits (Dana) with the hope or enjoyment of good feeling is no merit making at all. But to abstain from making Dana (letting go of possession) with the fear of maybe doing it for pleasure is a good subtile excusse to abstain from it.
Letting go of intellectuall possession is Dana as well. Just give up!
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:40 am

Sylvester wrote:...

Silvester, the story of this man taught by Bodhidharma hardly points out on the three stages of providing a wholesome mindstate. Before, while performing and after. With his question (or better the thought of the need to being soure to have done well, or its reference that he has done it with an expect) he has simply fulish burned down his offspring on the field of merits before it could have fruits, if there have been even seeds on this field.

I guess you are a Abhidhamma profi

from Abhidhamma_In_Daily_Life

Charity is Analogous to Sowing Seeds

Recipients are the fields
Donors are the farmers,
Offertories are the seeds sown
Benefits are the fruits

In the Peta Vathu Pali text it is said, "The recipient of the charity is like the land; the donor the farmer, the offertories the seeds sown. The benefits accrued later through out samsara are the fruits that are borne from the plants.

Let us elaborate:

a. In agriculture, the type of soil whether good or bad, determines the yield. Similarly, the integrity and nobility of the recipient determine the nature of beneficial results.

b. Just as vitality of the seeds sown determined the growth and productivity of the plants; the purity of offerings, gifts, whether they are procured through right livelihood or not, and the quantity, determine the nature of beneficial results.

c. Just as farmers will reap harvest in conformity with their skill in farming and efforts, so also donors will enjoy results depending on their level of intelligence, appreciative joy and their sincere effort in giving Dana.

d. Farmers have to prepare to till and plough their fields properly, before sowing the seeds to ensure a good yield. Likewise donors must have pubba cetana (pre-charity goodwill) before giving Dana. Result will depend on the intensity of their pubba cetana.

e. Farmers need to weed and water their fields; only then the plants will flourish. In the same way donors need to recall their charity and feel satisfaction for the meritorious deed. This apara cetana (post-charity volition) of the donor determined the nature of beneficial results.

f. If farmer, through folly, destroy their sprouts and seedlings they cannot enjoy the product of their labor. Similarly if donors feel that they shouldn't have done the almsgiving and regret for it afterwards, then they fail to enjoy good results due to their feeble apara cetana.

g. Even though the land and seeds are all in good condition, the sowing should be done in the right season, the right time so as to get a healthy crop. In the same way one should give alms to the needy, at the suitable time and place. Such charity brings about the best results.

There are such valuable lessons and guidance regarding Dana in the Peta Vatthu Pali text. Therefore in giving charity, the correct choice of recipient, the appropriateness of the time and place are very important. The Dana must be done with a blissful mind and cheerful volition. Moreover, one should not do Dana with a view to getting worldly wealth because such a wish is associated with greed and craving. Your cetana should be as pure as possible.

Three types of Cetana

All forms of charity for three types of cetana namely

a. Pubba cetana (prior volition)
b. Munca cetana (prevailing volition)
c. Apara cetana (post-charity volition)

a. Pubba Cetana

The good volition which occurs while procuring and preparing for charity is pubba cetana. Your cetana must be free from vain pride or selfishness such as, "I am the builder of this pagoda, I am the donor of this monastery; I am the donor of offertories" etc. While you are preparing for the charity you and members of your family must not indulge in quarrels and disagreements. You must not be hesitant in carrying on with the good deed once you have already decided. When you feel delighted and cheerful during our preparations throughout, you may then rest assured pure and sincere pubbha cetana will prevail.

b. Munca Cetana

Munca means renunciation, or detachment. Therefore, in the act of giving charity you must renounce the offertories from your possession completely. In offering alms-food to a bhikkhu your thought should be "I renounce this alms-food from my possession" and then physically offer alms to the recipient. This is munca cetana (prevailing volition). While performing kusala (good) deeds, no akusala (bad) minds such as greed, pride, anger, or attachment to the recipient, etc. should interfere. You should not crave for future benefits. Just freely let go the offertory generously.

c. Apara Cetana

The third cetana, which occurs at the completion of the deed of the merit, is the bliss of accomplishment you enjoy for having done a virtuous act. You feel joyous for your accomplishment of the deed, recall it often and wish to repeat it soon. This is the burgeoning of your apara cetana (post-charity volition).

However at a later time apara cetana can be contaminated if you feel dissatisfied at the loss of the property donated or if you feel disappointed with the abbot for whom you have donated a monastery. Then you might ponder, "May be I should not have given that charity." If so, not only your apara cetana is spoiled but also you develop an evil attitude of dissatisfaction (akusala dosa).


There are some good explainings in this book and easy to understand (how ever the practice is always required to understand fully what is meant). Dana a great subject for bhavana in fact.
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: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:45 am

Hanzze wrote:
ground wrote:
Hanzze wrote:'Consciousness' homelessness does not appear without 'physical' homelessness as well as 'physical' homelessness does not mean that 'Consciousness' homelessness is already reached.

How ever, if somebody is in 'physical' homelessness his preachings could provide people to gain right understanding while if somebody who is not in carge with 'physical' homelessness is preaching and claiming that there is a possible 'Consciousness' homelessness without 'physical' homelessness its speaks for it self.

And again for one self, give it a prove. Dana is a great way to do so. It might if all other factors are allready developed, seem like spontanious bodhi if done in the right way.

Whoever thinks to know does not know. Only freedom can tell but freedom does not come about through thinking "it is like this" or "it is like that".
Religious thought based on hope may provide comfort for the fearful. There is nothing wrong about that. So striving for merit may provide ephemeral feelings of joy and happiness thus making this short period between birth and death a bit more bearable. :sage:

The religion traumata will also fade away with time

No traumata, but mere investigation.
Maybe am explanation of what is meant with the term "religion" is necessary: From my perspective religion is a system of thought that engenders hope for something beyond experience thus providing a support for consciousness. No mystery just psychology in the context of the psychology the Buddha taught.

Hanzze wrote:and don't worry that others can be caught in it while doning Dana (in a meritious way) as that would not be possible. Just do not rest unhonestly.

There is no worry about other at all because there is complete reliance on other's wisdom.

Hanzze wrote:Making merits (Dana) with the hope or enjoyment of good feeling is no merit making at all. But to abstain from making Dana (letting go of possession) with the fear of maybe doing it for pleasure is a good subtile excusse to abstain from it.
Letting go of intellectuall possession is Dana as well. Just give up!

No need for discussing the ideas "merit" or "dana" further. Everything is fine, you just do what you feel is good for you. :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby cooran » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:56 am

Hello all,

Thank you for your contributions and perspectives so far. Here are articles which I found interesting on ''Merit' from four issues of the Wisdom Quarterly:

‘’Making Merit in Buddhism’’ - from Wisdom Quarterly American Buddhist Journal
Part 1
http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com.au/ ... dhism.html
Part 2
http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com.au/ ... art-2.html
Part 3
http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com.au/ ... art-3.html
Part 4
http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com.au/ ... art-4.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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