On 4-8-2019 at Kushinara Nibbana Bhumi Cheitya at 668, 5A Main Road,
8th Cross, HAL 3rd Stage, Bangalore, Karnataka State, India selection
was a teaching from the Theravada about the Buddhist notions of dana
(generosity), sila (morality) and bhavana (meditation) under the title
“Dana, Sila & Bhavana—Acts That Purify Our Existence” in Inquiring
Mind’s final issue
Practicing punna is the foundation of an
elevated, purified human life. The three types of punna are dana, sila,
and bhavana—which can be further split into concentration and insight.
We all desire a high quality of life, don’t we? We don’t want to live in
a degraded way.
The first punna is dana, or generosity, which
should be a systematic practice. Dana must be offered without
expectation of return—and without attachment to what’s given. This frees
us from greedy self-interest. If, moreover, we give with
lovingkindness, dana frees the mind from anger. When dana is also imbued
with compassion, it counteracts cruelty.
The more we practice
dana, the less we will be inclined to harmful deeds motivated by
uncontrolled greed, anger, and cruelty. A person who gives
systematically in this pure way will become free of the most extreme
forms of greed, anger, and delusion. She or he will find it easy to
refrain from killing, stealing, and other strongly harmful behaviors.
Thus, dana is a foundation for morality.
However, dana alone
cannot purify all of our physical, verbal, and mental actions.
Therefore, the Buddha offers a second punna: sila, or compassionate
morality. Sila is also a systematic training, generally expressed as
keeping at least five precepts. These five are: not killing, not
stealing, not harming others sexually (or allowing ourselves to be
sexually harmed), not telling lies and speaking harshly, and finally,
not succumbing to intoxicants and addictions.
Sila means taming
our physical and verbal behavior. As human beings we are social animals,
living with others on this planet. Obviously, most sentient beings
don’t want to be harmed. Each human being must control her or his own
actions and speech; no one else can do that for us. We each should
contemplate our actions as follows: “If that were done to me, I’d find
it unbearable. The other person will feel the same way. So I won’t do
it.” We may need courage to restrain ourselves if the impulse toward
harm is strong.
It may sound odd to some Western ears, but in
Buddhist culture, a sense of moral shame and moral fear is considered
healthy and appropriate. When we recognize greed, anger, or delusion in
our mind, moral fear makes us take precautions to avoid giving in. Moral
shame, on the other hand, is retrospective. If we realize we’ve done
harm and feel appropriately badly about it, this moral shame will induce
us to behave differently the next time. A person with moral shame and
moral fear does his or her best to maintain sila, keep the precepts.
Quite frankly, people who lack basic morality are disgusting! No matter
how expensive their jewelry or clothing may be, they’re unattractive
and offensive. It’s as if they smell bad. In contrast, sila is like a
fragrance or an ornament. We have a saying, “Sila makes the wearer
beautiful.” Sila also prevents us from falling into lower realms of
existence, whereas people who do not sustain basic morality are bound
for states of misery, devoid of happiness. We can think of harmful deeds
as poisonous food that will lead to deadly consequences. Therefore sila
is good to rely on throughout our life.
During the Buddha’s
lifetime, a divine being, or deva, asked him a question in the form of a
riddle: “What is it that is good up until old age?”
And the Buddha replied, “Sila.”
Indeed, sila is good from when we are born until the very moment we
die. It is one of the most important tasks a human being can undertake.
Sila is not only needed by Buddhists. It is needed by the whole world.
Sila punna makes a person a true human being.
Without sila as a
base, it isn’t easy to concentrate the mind and develop higher
knowledge. As we practice controlling our actions, we will feel how
dangerous and painful the tendencies of greed, anger, and delusion are.
Dana weakens these tendencies, as we have seen above. But in order to
thoroughly clean and uplift our minds, the Buddha offers a third kind of
meritorious practice. This is bhavana, or mental development. If we
undertake training in concentration, we will find our mind becoming
clean and clear. One who develops concentration is said to have “a clear
human mentality.” From the basis of concentration, we can go on to
develop wisdom, special human knowledge.
Dana is the foundation
for sila. Sila is like a mouth for us to take in the tasty, nourishing
food of concentration and wisdom. If our mouth is injured or full of
canker sores, it will be difficult to eat and drink; if we don’t have a
mouth at all, it will be impossible. But of the three punnas, surely the
most important one is sila—for sila protects our individual world as
well as the larger world around us.
It is worthwhile to
contemplate all the harm human beings inflict. Imagine if only half the
people in the world stopped killing, stealing, and breaking the other
precepts. How peaceful it would be! If we cherish the purity of avoiding
misdeeds and value the results that come from keeping sila, surely we
will want to make a personal effort. Sila has the four characteristics
of an important task. It must be done; it can’t be left undone. It must
be done by oneself, not left to others. It must be done at the right
time and regularly. And it must bring lots of benefit.
May all human beings keep at least five precepts purely!
What is Sanghadana?
In the Pali literature the word Sangha is a meaning designated to the community of Bhikkhus (monks), and Bhikkhunis (nuns).
Also, in Pali the word Dana means quite literally Charity. In the
reference to the words Sangha Dana it would be interpreted as “Charity
to the community of monks.”
In the teachings of Buddha we learn
of three factors that motivate our actions, Lobha (greed), Dosa
(ill-will), and Moha (delusion, ignorance). The practice of Dana
overcomes the factor of Lobha. It’s not quite literally a single
instance of the practice will overcome, but a continual practice.
All living beings do the same things over and over until they become
habits. Greed becomes a habit and all our actions are motivated out of
greed. We continually think of wanting all the time. We fixate on what
we desire and in the thinking we act to obtain, or acquire. This is one
of the ways in which Lobha motivates our actions. As a habit this
practice is done without intentional thought or application of thought
and so we act out without awareness, or mindfulness.
In order to
overcome Greed in this sense is to practice its opposite. Charity,
giving. It’s not so much important on who you give to, however it is
more beneficial to give to someone who is dedicating their life to
becoming free from greed. Giving to someone who is satisfied with what
they already have is also more beneficial than giving to someone who
continually wants, is never satisfied and wants more, and is motivated
to acquire. Who is more content, the one whose thirst is never quenched
or the one who is never thirsty?
Continual practice of charity
will eventually lead to the practice becoming a habit as well with the
result of negating the practice of greed. As a result we diminish our
actions being motivated out of greed. Think of this practice as an
antidote to greed, much like giving an antidote to a poison.
Because all actions have results (consequences), the act of practicing
Dana has beneficial results and the accumulations of these results are
known in the Theravada tradition as Merit. Giving to anyone accumulates
merit. But giving to ones who have left the home life to take on a life
of the Bhikkhu living in the community of Bhikkhu’s to practice and
carry the teachings of a Buddha, the Sangha, is of greater benefit and
so increases the merit one accumulates.
And so we have the phrase
term, “Sangha Dana”, the giving of charity to the community of monks.
The practice of Sangha Dana includes the monks reciting the teachings of
the Buddha in a chant, and on some occasion will include a teaching by
the head monk, or senior monk relating to the practice.
be offered as gifts, food, water, money, or all. Can also be given to an
entire community at once, or to one who is designated to receive for
the community. The gift can be whatever you wish to give but does not
mean it is an expensive gift wrapped boxed item. Items the community
will need daily such as toiletries, paper towels, soaps, towels and
washcloth’s, dried food items, canned food items, teas, coffee’s,
cereals, drinkables, clothing, shoes, sandals, etc. You are the one who
is practicing charity; you decide what you want to give.
the practice of Sangha Dana is done in conjunction with another practice
of remembering a loved one, relative, friend, spouse, child, anyone who
has passed from this existence. After the practice of Sangha Dana is
performed then a short version of Punnynomodana (sharing merit to other)
follows with the monks chanting various versions of the teachings of
the Buddha from the Abhidhamma followed by a “Transference of Merit”
ritual which entails one to think of giving the accumulated merit they
have received to the benefit of the one who has passed away.
MAHABODHI DAYAKA MANDALI
Dear meritorious Upasakas and Upasikas,
Bengaluru Mahabodhi Monastery is a place of Buddhist spiritual
practice. We welcome you to join Mahabodhi Dāyaka Mandali, This special
activities aimed at the development of Sila, Samadhi and Panya.
Your Dana- Donation to the SANGHA will bring you Ayu, vanno, sukham balam (long life and beauty, happiness and strength).
You may offer dana on any day of the year or any special day in your
life like birthday, marriage, death, naming ceremonies etc. There are
147 monks at present in the Mahabodhi Monastery, Bengaluru and the
different Sanghadana you may offer are:
1. Breakfast per day – Rs.5000.
2. Lunch per day – Rs.7000.
3. Evening Juice per day– Rs.3000.
4. Total for one day Sanghadana – Rs.15000.
All these offerings you may do by transfer of funds from your account
to the Mahabodhi Account or by cheque/DD/M.O and avail the receipt.
Please Contact: Mr. Vajira – 09731635108
Mr.Krupa Urs- 09343158020,
All the activities of the Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru are dependent on donations. We request you to kindly donate generously.
Thank you very much.
All donations are exempted under Income Tax Act 80G.
Please send your donation in the name of MAHA BODHI SOCIETY, Bengaluru.
Account No. SB 353102010000137
IFSC Code: UBIN 0535311
MICR Code: 560026005
Union Bank of India, Gandhinagar,
Bangalore – 560009, India
The total number of monks in the entire Mahabodhi center exceeds to 400
and there are also 30 nuns in Bordumsa, Arunachal Pradesh. You can also
offer dana in any of the monastery or to the entire Mahabodhi Sangha of
all center once or twice a year or any number of times you wish to
participate. Kindly contact the monastery in charge to offer your Dana
or Mr Vajira on 09731635108.
PLACE Nos of Monks/ Nuns Contact Details
Mahabodhi Vihara 147 monks 09731635108 / 09343158020
Narasipura, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Mahabodhi Dhammaduta Vihara 05 monks 09731635108
Mahabodhi Vihara 02 monks 09901334279 / 08722961349
Chiching Chera, Tripura
Mahabodhi Vihara 80 monks 09402169228
Mahabodhi Vihara 46 monks 07085652028 / 08415805886
Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh,
Mahabodhi Vihara 63 monks 09402200061 / 07308967316
Diyun, Arunachal Pradesh
Mahabodhi Vihara 22 monks 07085442451 / 09402012719
Deomali, Arunchal Pradesh
Mahabodhi Vihara 03 monks 08414960620
Tawang, Aruchal Pradesh
Mahabodhi Vihara 03 monks 09402899820 / 08132890530
Bordumsa, Arunachal Pradesh
Mahabodhi Vihara 30 nuns 08258916412 / 08974374876
406 monks, 30 nuns
Please use the below form to send you participation through email.
The Chief Monk
Mahabodhi Buddha Vihara
Maha Bodhi Society,
14, Kalidasa Road,
Bengaluru - 560009
I am interested to offer Sanghadana at Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru as below (please tick)
Total for one day Sanghadana – Rs.15000
Breakfast – Rs.5000
Lunch – Rs.7000
Evening Juice – Rs.3000
The following are my name and other particulars:
Maha Bodhi Society
#14 Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar
Bengaluru - 560 009, India
Telephone : +91 80-22250684
Mobile : +91 9731635108
Fax : 080-41148440
Email : email@example.com