merit, meritorious, is a popular term for
karmically advantageous (kusala) action.
Opposite terms: apuñña, 'demerit';
pāpa, 'bad', 'evil',
The value of meritorious action is often stressed,
e.g., in the Treasure Store Sutta (s. Khp. Tr.), Dhp 18, 118, 122. -
Community of Holy Monks (ariya-sangha), the third Refuge (s. ti-sarana),
is said to be "the incomparable field of merit in the world" (anuttaram
puññakkhettam lokassa); s. anussati 3.
The Arahats, however, having
transcended all life-affirming and rebirth-producing actions, are said to be
"beyond merit and demerit"; see Sn.520, 547, 636, 790. - See foll. 3