Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Five Ways Of Performing Dāna Part (1) By Venerable Shwe Oo Min Sayardaw (ဒါနျပဳနည္းသိေကာင္းစရာ အပို္င္း ၁)


Venerable Shwe Oo Min Sayardaw

In our Buddhists’ way of life, we are familiar with Kusala. We all know that Kusala brings forth harmlessness and blamelessness. We achieve mental and physical happiness through Kusala. We know that Kusala brings forth the happiness of wealth and prosperity, the fulfillment of one’s wants and needs. The noble ones, the virtuous ones praised those who had not forgotten Kusala Dhamma. The noble ones explained that Kusala Dhamma would bring forth all those benefits not only in this present life, but also in many future lives, these benefits enabling them to the practice of Dāna, Sīla, Bhāvanā, leading them further towards Magga Bliss, Phala Bliss and finally the Nibbāna Bliss. The noble ones earnestly admired the owner of these Kusalas, declaring that only these worthy people would know and only these worthy people could manage to accumulate these profitable Kusalas which would give forth all the advantages.

Today, that kind of worthy people are gathered here. The reason for this gathering is to offer Dāna, which can be done only at certain time of the year. The fruition coming out of Dāna Kusala is wealth. The offering is to be done with Sakkacca Gārava (respectfully, with due honor, reverence towards). Because you hold the great respect and courtesy towards Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, because your act of donation is done with respect and courtesy, the results generated from those Kusalas are much more advantageous than that of some people. Some people even when in the process of donation, do so with careless flippancy, do not wish to do things themselves. Because they were not so courteous, the results achieved are not as advantageous; the others did in turn not treat them with courtesy. Sometimes, even though you are the master of the house, you have not much authority, not much influence in your household. Those who had offered Dāna with courtesy are able to exert authority and their words are obeyed respectfully in their households. Any Dāna brings forth wealth. In spite of that, sometimes the rich man may not have much influence over his family, but his wife; having donated with much courtesy holds authority in the family. Therefore we can see that due to our courteousness in our Dāna, we have one advantage of being well respected by lay people and monks alike. This is Sakkacca Dāna.

The second type of Dāna is called Saddhā Dāna. One believes that, due to his meritorious actions (Kusala), he will have (1) harmlessness, (2) bodily as well as mental well-being, (3) fulfillment of wealth and Sukha in his future lives, (4) in turn leading towards the accomplishment of Magga, Phala and Nibbāna. Because he believes, his mind is very clear and joyous. He believes in the Buddha, he believes in the Dhamma, he believes in the Sangha. Sometimes, some people believe much more than the triple gems, don’t they? They believe in all sorts of deities, psychics, and seers, thinking of accumulating more merit. Do you think they will have much more advantages because they believe and worship in so much more? Communists also asked that why their belief in their leader Stalin could not be considered in the category of Saddhā. It seems like their belief in Kuan-Yin has to be included in the types of Dāna, is it? Anyway, the true Saddhā as defined by our Buddha is to have belief in the triple gems, the existence of Kamma, and the effects of Kamma. When a person donates with true Saddhā, as he was donating with right belief and with a clear and joyous mind, in addition to his reaping the result called wealth, he will have one more advantage than the others will. When it is time for his Kusala to come into fruition, he will not only be rich; he will have very fine appearance (beauty). Because he has donated with clear belief and joyousness.

(to be continued)

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This Dhamma Talk is reproduced from www.edhamma.com

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