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  • dāna

'almsgiving', liberality, offering.

"He who gives alms, bestows a fourfold blessing: he helps to long life, good appearance, happiness and strength. Therefore long life, good appearance, happiness and strength will be his share, whether amongst heavenly beings or amongst men" (A.IV.57).

"Five blessings accrue to the giver of alms:

  • the affection of many,

  • noble association,

  • good reputation,

  • self-confidence, and

  • heavenly rebirth" (see A.V.34).

Seven further blessings are given in A.VII.54.

Liberality, especially the offering of robes, food, etc., to the monks, is highly praised in all Buddhist countries of Southern Asia as a fundamental virtue and as a means to suppress man's inborn greed and egoism. But, as in any other good or bad action, so also in offering gifts, it is the noble intention and intention that really counts as the action, not the mere outward deed.

Almsgiving or liberality (dāna), constitutes the first. kind of meritorious activity, the two others being morality (sīla) and mental development (bhāvanā); s. puñña-kiriya-vatthu.

Liberality (cāga) forms one of the 10 recollections (anussati) and almsgiving one of the 10 perfections (s. pāramī).


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