Lesson 10 The Unlosable Treasure-Store Dana (Generosity


What is Dana?
The Buddha taught us to perform 3 highly meritorious acts in order to gain happiness now and in the future. They are Dana (generosity), Sila (morality), and Dana is the giving of useful Bhavana (mental culture). things to other people: food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, money to the needy, kindness and compassion to all living being, and above all, the It may sound paradoxical but knowledge of the Dhamma to one indeed possesess those searching for Truth. something worthwhile not by hoarding but by sharing with others. The more he gives to

Why the reluctance to give? People have strong
attachments to possessions that they are unprepared to share. They are slaves to their possessions and greed is their master.

Anger and hatred can also hinder a person from being generous. Under these unwholesome influences, he speaks harshly and acts mindlessly without ever thinking that others have feelings too. Reluctance can also be due to fear. People are reluctant to donate blood for fear of damaging their health. A person is afraid to donate his eyes because of fears that he might be blind in his next life. Such fears are unfounded and are due to ignorance and lack of understanding and lack of compassion.

Dana is the antidote to the poison of greed. Each time we give selflessly, we chip away our mighty crag of selfishness. We purify ourselves by giving and also increase our happiness. The act of charity promotes wholesome thoughts, actions and speech which create good Kamma. The Buddha taught that a person giving alms to monks or virtuous people gains 5 blessings: the affection of the many, noble associations, good reputation, self confidence and heavenly rebirth (Anguttara Nikya V, Sutta

Why should we give?

What is True Generosity springs from the heart. It arises with Generosity?
compassion, friendliness and kindness. It goes hand in hand with sympathy. It is not patronage – the giving with the intention of indebting another. The one who gives is not in any way more superior to the receiver. True generosity is giving without ulterior motive - he gives with no strings attached; does not expect gratitude in return. He has given and that is the end of the matter. He never complains when people take his gifts for granted. The person who cultivates this virtue is on his road of growing stronger and freer with every gift he gives. He purifies himself in giving selflessly.

Different Aspect of Giving Dana others an Dana need not be opportunity to appreciate
confined to material gifts. We can be generous with our knowledge, skill, time, energy.

The Lord Buddha sacrifice Himself on many occaions in His previous lives to save other beings.

our wholesome deeds is another form of dana. When we perform deeds with pure intentions, we should let our deeds be known to others as source of inspirations to them and for them to share our merits. It is equally wholesome to appreciate the good deeds of others as it is a form of dana and it contributes to a harmonious society.

What is the Highest Form The giftDana? is the greatest gift of all. of of the Dhamma
If you help your friend to have right understanding about good and bad deeds and how to cultivate the good, he will have happiness in this life and later lives. Once the thirst for Truth is quenched he will never thirst again. You have truly given him a priceless gift.

How can you contribute? effort to help spread the Give your time and
message of the Lord Buddha. Give your time to charitable and welfare organisations. Donate money to print dhamma materials – it does not matter how much you donate.

The Ten Transcendental Generosity Morality Renunciation Wisdom Virtues (Paramis) Energy
Patience Truthfulness Determination Lovingkindness Equanimity After receiving the Definite Prophecy from Dipankara Buddha, the Boddhisatta spent 100,000 world cycles and 4 infinite periods pefecting the Ten Paramis. The Jataka Stories relate the supreme efforts of Gotama Buddha at perfecting the ten paramis in his previous births as a Boddhisatta in His efforts to attain Supreme Buddhahood. On the way to perfection, He abuses not when abused; He beats not when beaten; He annoys not when annoyed. He strives to be free from desire in the world of desires, and seeks perfection in an imperfect world.

The Ten Paramis Generosity

The Boddhisatta practises generosity to eliminate craving that lies dormant within Himself. However He combines wisdom with generosity so that a person does not misuse His gift. He is ever willing to render every possible aid to anyone and yet He does not want another to feel indebted and does not want reward in return.

The Ten Paramis Morality
Morality consists of duties one should perform and refrain from performing. One has to perform duties towards parents, children, husband, wife, teachers, pupils, friends, monks, etc. Beside these duties, he refrains from wrong deeds by observing the Five Precepts daily and the Eight Precepts on Uposatha days.

The Ten Paramis Renunciation
The Bodhisatta is a lover of solitute and is always selfless in his activities. He works hard for His inner spiritual development, catering at the same time for the spiritual needs of others. He may either choose to live a life of an ascetic or a monk.

The Ten Paramis Wisdom is the understanding of the Three Characteristics of Life Wisdom and also world knowledge.
He never desires to display His knowledge nor is He ashamed to plead ignorance even in public. He tries His best to lead others from spiritual darkness to light.

Knowledge is acquired through 3 methods:
1. Hearing or reading 3. Meditation and contemplation – through meditation, one realises intuitive truths which are beyond logical reasoning, in addition to worldly wisdom that helps him to live a happy live.

2. Thinking – scientific knowledge arises in this manner

The Ten Paramis Energy to the mental vigour Energy refers

The Ten Paramis Patience endurance of It is the patient

or strength of character. It is the persistence and effort to work for the welfare of others. No one can succeed are viewed as steps to Failures without persistent effort. success; opposition causes him to double his effort; dangers increase his courage.

suffering inflicted upon oneself by others’ wrongs. Practising patience and tolerance, instead of seeing the ugliness in others, a Boddhisatta tries to seek the

The Ten Paramis Truthfulness A Boddhisatta always fulfils his promises

and never breaks his word. In the course of His samsara, He never uttered an untruth although at timeseven to sacrificethe other He was prepared He may violate His life to four precepts. fulfil His promise.

It for the good and happiness of all beings that prompts a Bodhisatta to renounce personal deliverance for the sake of others. With this universal love, He fears none and none fears Him. Loving-kindness possesses a mystic power which can easily influence beings far and near. A pure heart that radiates this force is capable of transforming wild beasts into tame ones, murderers into saints.

The Ten Paramis – is this loving-kindness and wish Loving-kindness

The Ten Paramis – Equanimity Equanimity is the evenness of mind
which views all things impartially without attachment or hatred. Slights, insults, praise, blame, loss, gain, pain and happiness are the common feelings of humanity. Amidst all these conditions, the Boddhisatta stands unmoved like a firm rock, exercising perfect equanimity. poisonous tongues; He is undistubed by not attached to the illusory pleasures of this changing world. He is unaffected by worldly temptations, ever calm and peaceful.

The Ten Paramis
Generosity Morality Patience Renunciation Wisdom Energy Equanimity Truthfulness Determination Lovingkindness

The Ten Paramis is a course in self-sacrifice. Just to attempt to practise the Paramis will bring immediate improvements into a person’s life even though he may not achieve the perfection achieved by the Buddha. Like Buddha Gotama, we too may dedicate ourselves to the noble purpose of serving the world. One should not think that the Boddhisatta ideal is reserved only for special people. What one has done, another can do. Therefore let us endeavour to work selflessly for the good of ourselves and others.

The gift of Dhamma excels all gifts the taste of Dhamma excels all taste, the delight in dhamma excels all delights, The Craving-Freed vanquishes all suffering. - Dhammapada verse 354

End of Lesson 10

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