Monday, August 13, 2007

The Urgency Of Giving

Samyutta Nikaya I.41

Aditta Sutta

(The House) On Fire


Introduction: In this sutta, the Deva (Devi) recited this beautiful verse in the presence of Buddha on why livings should enjoy their possession and at the same time give gifts to gain merits thereby attained the bliss of the heavenly abode in here after.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then a certain devata, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. As she was standing there, she recited these verses in the Blessed One's presence:

When a house is on fire
the vessel salvaged
is the one that will be of use,
not the one left there to burn.

So when the world is on fire
with aging and death,
one should salvage [one's wealth] by giving:
what's given is well salvaged.

What's given bears fruit as pleasure.
What isn't given does not:
thieves take it away, or kings;
it gets burnt by fire or lost.

Then in the end
one leaves the body
together with one's possessions.
Knowing this, the intelligent man
enjoys possessions & gives.

Having enjoyed & given
in line with his means,
uncensured he goes
to the heavenly state.

The Buddha


* Dana ( Charity, Giving, Generosity, Service ... ) is most important in one's spiritual practice and growth.
* Through Dana practice, one trains the heart and mind
1. to be more compassionate
2. to be less and less attached to things which will eventually be separated from us ... in this way one will gradually gain more mental peace, joy and equinimity.
3. spiritually ... one then sees the interconnectedness of all beings. Insight and wisdom on the true nature of all things will gradually arise.
* One should realize the urgency of Dana practice ... time waits for no person. The wise person will reach out in Dana practice when he or she STILL CAN ... one never knows when circumstances no longer allow one to serve and help, for example, when one becomes too weak and old, too sick or when one has to leave this world.
* All great religions teach on the importance of Dana or Charity. The spiritual benefits of Dana are tremendous.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin

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