Buddhism Online

Giving - The Key To Good Fortune
By Bhikku Bodhi - Wisdom Publications 2005

 “Then again, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food … or lighting. He now hears of the long life, the beauty, and the great happiness of the devas of Brahmā’s company, and he wishes to be reborn among them. He sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher, it will lead him to just such a rebirth. After his death, when his body breaks up, he will be reborn among the devas of Brahmā’s company. This, however, I declare only for the morally pure, not for the immoral; only for one free of lust, not for one who is lustful. Because he is without lust, monks, the heart’s desire of the morally pure succeeds.


 If People Knew the Result of Giving  

  “ monks, if people knew, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would they allow the stain of niggardliness to obsess them and take root in their minds. Even if it were their last morsel, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared it, if there were someone to share it with. But, monks, as people do not know, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they eat without having given, and the stain of niggardliness obsesses them and takes root in their minds.”  

 Reasons for Giving

“There are, O monks, eight reasons for giving. What eight? People may give out of affection; or in an angry mood; or out of stupidity; or out of fear; or with the thought: ‘Such gifts have been given before by my father and grandfather and it was done by them before; hence it would be unworthy of me to give up this old family tradition’; or with the thought, ‘By giving this gift, I shall be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world, after death’; or with the thought, ‘When giving this gift, my heart will be glad, and happiness and joy will arise in me’; or one gives because it ennobles and adorns the mind.”


 download.jpg


  The Gift of Food

 On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, at a town called Sajjanela. One morning the Blessed One dressed, took his upper robe and bowl, and went to the dwelling of Suppavāsā, a Koliyan lady. Having arrived there, he sat down on the seat prepared for him. The Koliyan lady Suppavāsā attended to the Blessed One personally and served him with various kinds of delicious food. When the Blessed One had finished his meal and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl, the Koliyan lady Suppavāsā sat down to one side, and the Blessed One addressed her as follows:

 “Suppavāsā, a noble female disciple, by giving food, gives four things to those who receive it. What four? She gives long life, beauty, happiness, and strength. By giving long life, she herself will be endowed with long life, human or divine. By giving beauty, she herself will be endowed with beauty, human or divine. By giving happiness, she herself will be endowed with happiness, human or divine. By giving strength, she herself will be endowed with strength, human or divine. A noble female disciple, by giving food, gives those four things to those who receive it.”

  A Superior Person’s Gifts 

“There are, O monks, these five gifts of a superior person. What five?

“He gives a gift out of faith; he gives a gift respectfully; he gives a gift at the right time; he gives a gift with a generous heart; he gives a gift without denigration.

 “Because he gives a gift out of faith, wherever the result of that gift ripens he becomes rich, affluent, and wealthy, and he is handsome, comely, graceful, endowed with supreme beauty of complexion.

“Because he gives a gift respectfully, wherever the result of that gift ripens he becomes rich, affluent, and wealthy, and his children and wives, his slaves, messengers, and workers are obedient, lend their ears to him, and apply their minds to understand him. 

“Because he gives a gift at the right time, wherever the result of that gift ripens he becomes rich, affluent, and wealthy, and benefits come to him at the right time, in abundant measure. 

“Because he gives a gift with a generous heart, wherever the result of that gift ripens he becomes rich, affluent, and wealthy, and his mind inclines to the enjoyment of excellent things among the five cords of sensual pleasure.

 “Because he gives a gift without denigrating himself and others, wherever the result of that gift ripens he becomes rich, affluent, and wealthy, and no loss of his wealth takes place from any quarter, whether from fire, floods, the king, bandits, or unloved heirs.

“These, monks, are the five gifts of a superior person.”

 

images (2).jpg


  Mutual Support  

 “Monks, brahmins and householders are very helpful to you. They provide you with the requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicines in time of sickness. And you, monks, are very helpful to brahmins and householders, as you teach them the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, the middle, and the end, with the correct meaning and wording, and you proclaim the spiritual life in its fulfillment and complete purity. Thus, monks, this spiritual life is lived with mutual support for the purpose of crossing the flood and making a complete end of suffering.”

  Rebirth on Account of Giving

 “There are, O monks, eight kinds of rebirth on account of giving. What eight?

“Here, monks, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, scents, and unguents; bedding, lodging, and lighting. In making the gift, he hopes for a reward. He now notices affluent nobles, brahmins, or householders enjoying themselves provided and furnished with the five objects of sensual pleasure, and he thinks: ‘Oh, with the breakup of the body, after death, may I be reborn them!’ And he sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher it will lead him to just such a rebirth. With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be reborn among affluent nobles, brahmins, or householders. This, however, I declare only for the morally pure, not for the immoral; for it is due to his purity, monks, that the heart’s desire of the morally pure succeeds.

 “Then again, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food … or lighting. In making the gift, he hopes for a reward. He now hears of the long life, the beauty, and the great happiness of the devas in the realm of the Four Great Kings … the Tāvatiṃsa devas … the Yāma devas … the Tusita devas … the devas who delight in creating … the devas who wield power over others’ creations, and he wishes to be reborn among them. He sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher, it will lead him to just such a rebirth. After his death, when his body breaks up, he will be reborn among the devas in the realm of the Four Great Kings … or among the devas who wield power over others’ creations. This, however, I declare only for the morally pure, not for the immoral; for it is due to his purity, monks, that the heart’s desire of the morally pure succeeds.

 “Then again, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food … or lighting. He now hears of the long life, the beauty, and the great happiness of the devas of Brahmā’s company, and he wishes to be reborn among them. He sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher, it will lead him to just such a rebirth. After his death, when his body breaks up, he will be reborn among the devas of Brahmā’s company. This, however, I declare only for the morally pure, not for the immoral; only for one free of lust, not for one who is lustful. Because he is without lust, monks, the heart’s desire of the morally pure succeeds.

 “These, monks, are the eight kinds of rebirth on account of giving.”

 Excerpt from: (It 26; 18–19),(AN 8:33; IV 236–37), (AN 4:57; II 62–63),
(AN 5:148; III 172–73), (It 107; 111)(AN 8:35; IV 239–41)              
                
 In The Buddha’s Words An Anthology of Discourses from the Pāli Canon 


© 2008 -2022  Buddhism Online | Homepage