The Six Factors of Giving
(Chaḷaṅgadānasuttaṁ, AN 6.37)

Translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu

(August 2014/2558)

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Preface

This is a short discourse from the Aṅguttaranikāya which is a very popular subject for teaching at the time of giving gifts (dāna) to the Saṅgha. It describes the important factors to be borne in mind when giving gifts, and serves to remind all present how important their own intentions are for the proper fulfilment of the gift.

In the Texts and Translations section I have translated it together with its commentary interleaved, which gives some important doctrinal information over and above the discourse, and also seeks to clarify it in places. It should also give the student an idea of how the word commentaries (vaṇṇanā) work together with their discourse.

link to Text and Translation of Discourse and Commentary

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
August 2014

The Six Factors of Giving

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At one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Wood, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then at that time the female lay follower Veḷukaṇḍakī Nandamātā, had prepared a gift endowed with six factors for the Community of monks with Sāriputta and Moggallāna at their head.

The Gracious One saw with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses that of (normal) men, the female lay follower Veḷukaṇḍakī Nandamātā, had prepared a gift endowed with six factors for the Community of monks with Sāriputta and Moggallāna at their head.

And after seeing it he addressed the monastics, saying: “This female lay follower Veḷukaṇḍakī Nandamātā, monastics, has prepared a gift endowed with six factors for the Community of monks with Sāriputta and Moggallāna at their head.

And what, monastics, is a gift endowed with six factors?

Here, monastics, for the donor there are three factors, and for the receivers there are three factors.

What are the three factors for the donor?

Here, monks, the donor before giving is happy in mind, while giving her mind is gladdened, and after giving there is delight.

These are the three factors for the donor.

What are the three factors for the receivers?

Here, monastics, the receivers are without passion, or they are practising to remove passion, they are without hatred, or they are practising to remove hatred, they are without delusion, or they are practising to remove delusion.

These are the three factors for the receivers.

So the donor has three factors and the receivers have three factors.

Thus, monastics, there is a gift endowed with six factors.

Thus, monastics, for a gift endowed with these six factors it is not easy to take a measure of the merit, saying: ‘So much is the accumulation of merit, is the accumulation of wholesomeness, is the means of happiness, leading to heaven, having a happy result, conducive to heaven, which leads to what is wanted, lovely, attractive, beneficial and pleasant.’ Rather it is immeasurable, unbounded, and is reckoned as a great mass of merit.

Just as with the great ocean, monastics, it is not easy to take a measure of the water, saying: ‘There are so many litres of water, or so many hundreds of litres of water, or so many thousands of litres of water, or so many hundreds of thousands of litres of water.’ Rather it is immeasurable, unbounded, and is reckoned as a great mass of water.

Just so, monastics, for a gift endowed with these six factors it is not easy to take a measure of the merit, saying: ‘So much is the accumulation of merit, is the accumulation of wholesomeness, is the means of happiness, leading to heaven, having a happy result, conducive to heaven, which leads to what is wanted, lovely, attractive, beneficial and pleasant.’ Rather it is immeasurable, unbounded, and is reckoned as a great mass of merit.

Before giving she is happy in mind, while giving her mind is gladdened,
and after giving she is uplifted, this is the success of her sacrifice.

Without passion, without hate, without delusion, without pollutants,
the field for the sacrifice is successful, being restrained in the spiritual life.

After rinsing oneself, and giving with one’s own hands,
for oneself and for the other, the sacrifice is of great fruit.

The intelligent one, having made such a sacrifice, faithful, with her mind released,
that wise one arises in a happy world, free of suffering.”