Generosity in Buddhism - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Generosity in Buddhism

Dāna actually means to offer a suitable thing to a recipient or performing acts of charity not only with a pure volition and non-greed mind but also with loving-kindness and respect.
 Characteristic of dāna is the forsaking one’s property with a true faith in actions (kamma) and its results (kammavipāka) for the welfare of recipients. The donor at the same time acquires merit, delight, rejoicing, gladness and happiness in his mind.
Dāna is a fundamental practice of Buddhism. It is the first factor of the ten kinds of Meritorious Deeds, as well as the Ten Perfections (Paramī). Dāna indeed is a principle of the noble man’s virtue.
However, the charity given expecting something in return is not a true and perfect dāna, but aspiring only to the attainment of release from the cycle of death and rebirth (sasāra) is a true and perfect one.
Dāna and sīla are the real basis foundation for mental development (bhāvanā). Practicing a true dāna, he contemplates on three aspects: the donor himself, the recipient and the offering. When these three components are complete, it is said dāna has been perfected. Of them, the donor and his generous volition are the first and foremost factors. He keeps the generous volition during three periods of time: before the act of charity is performed (pubba), while the charity is being enacted (munca), and after the act of charity has been accomplished (para).
At the same time, the recipient has already done away with greed, anger and ignorance. The more the recipient’s morality, concentration and wisdom, the more the benefits that accrue to the donor.
Lastly, he always shares merit by reciting the formula: “I share these merit of mine with relative, friends and all beings. May all beings be happy sharing my merit.” This is how one realizes Nibbāna - extinction of all sufferings and sorrow even in this life, with dāna as the starting point. 

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