Hi, 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 1st factor of the 8-factored path:
And what is the right view that has assavas ["leaks" (not being perfected)], sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. 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 and caga clearly in the rest of the 8-factored path, unless we consider 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 and caga 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 [lodgings, this is teaching to monks; the work, resident and religious communities for lay disciples?
], stinginess as to one's family [of supporters, this is teaching to monks; for lay disciples -- the parents/relatives/friends who support our living?
], stinginess as to one's gains, stinginess as to one's status, and ingratitude. 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?
], openhanded [non-grasping], delighting in being magnanimous [generous], responsive to (worthy?) requests [attending to the needy in the right way? ]
, delighting in the distribution of alms [to only the worthy recipients? Some monastics might not be genuine ones or might not be practicing the right way
]. This is called the treasure of generosity."
— AN 7.6
"Herein a householder dwells at home with heart free from the stain of avarice, devoted to charity
[?], open-handed, delighting in generosity
[?], attending to the needy
[?], delighting in the distribution of alms. This is called the accomplishment of charity.” (Vyagghapajja Sutta: Conditions of Welfare).
[Can someone provide another good translation of this paragraph?
] To whom to give:
"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
"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.
"There are these five seasonable gifts. Which five? One gives to a newcomer
. One gives to one going away.
One gives to one who is ill.
One gives in time of famine.
One sets the first fruits of field & orchard in front of those who are virtuous.
These are the five seasonable gifts."
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).
"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...
"King Kosala once asked the Buddha to whom alms should be given (S.i,98). The Buddha replied that alms should be given to those by giving to whom one becomes happy.
In the Anguttara Nikaya the Buddha describes, with sacrificial terminology, three types of fires that should be tended with care and honor (A.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).
(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
(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].
[from Ven. Thanissaro's talks "Meditations" (available at ATI)]
More important suttas on this topic:
Visakha's profound dana wisdom: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dana-givi ... ?var=0&l=1
The Scale of Good Deeds/Gifts (from low to high): http://www.vimokkha.com/velama.htm
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.Would developing metta (developing a mind of boundless lovingkindness) & cultivating the insight of anicca/dukkha/anatta more effective antidotes
with no side effects (e.g. distraction) for overcoming stinginess/selfishness and developing generosity than '"Give with right attitude and belief -- Give to the worthy recipients", if someone is at a higher level of the path?
Metta to all!