The Analysis of Deeds
(Karma-vibhaṅga)



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62-80: Wholesome Deeds

62. Saluting the Memorial Buildings in the Middle Country

What are the ten advantages In what follows the text usually specifies ten advantages, but then the list given is often longer, or shorter than ten. As we can see in this first list it is indisputably twelve. of saluting with reverence the memorial buildings of the Realised One in the Middle Country, the four great memorial buildings in Lumbinī, Mahābodhi and so on? The four memorial buildings commemorate the birth at Lumbinī, the Awakening under the Mahābodhi at Bodhgaya, the teaching of the first discourse at the ṣipatana near Vārāṇasī, and the passing at Kuśinagarī.

It is said:

[1] One obtains a birth in the Middle Country.
[2] One obtains excellent clothes.
[3] One obtains an excellent family.
[4] One obtains an excellent age.
[5] One obtains an excellent voice.
[6] One obtains excellent intelligence.
[7] One obtains excellent faith.
[8] One obtains excellent virtue.
[9] One obtains excellent fame.
[10] One obtains excellent generosity.
[11] One obtains an excellent memory.
[12] One obtains excellent wisdom.

62a

This is the summary: There is country, land, family, form, voice, improvisation, faith, virtue, learning, generosity, mindfulness and wisdom. Having paid respects at the Realised One’s Buddha-palace, one will receive intelligence, wisdom, nobility, and the destruction of the pollutants.

62b

And this is said in the discourse: The discourse is unfortunately not known. “Ānanda, whoever walks around the memorial buildings with a confident mind will eventually die, and, just as the arrow falls to earth and remains there, so with the break up of the body they will be reborn in heaven.”

63. Saluting the Memorial Buildings Elsewhere

What are the ten advantages of worshipping the memorial buildings of the Realised One elsewhere?

It is said:

[1] One becomes handsome.
[2] Has a good voice.
[3] Has acceptable speech.
[4] Walking into an assembly one propitiates the assembly.
[5] One is dear to gods and men.
[6] One is distinguished.
[7] One has the society of distinguished people.
[8] One has the society of Buddhas and the Buddhas’ disciples.
[9] One has great wealth.
[10] One is reborn in the heavens.
[11] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

These are the ten advantages of worshipping the memorial buildings of the Realised One elsewhere.

64. Giving a Parasol

What are the ten advantages of giving a parasol?

It is said:

[1] One has the nature of being a parasol for the world. I.e. keeping others from overheating.
[2] One is not overheated in body.
[3] One is not overheated in mind.
[4] All deeds done that are blameless and lead to sovereignty accumulate.
[5] Again and again one becomes a king, a universal monarch.
[6] One is distinguished.
[7] One has the society of distinguished people.
[8] One has the society of Buddhas and Buddhas’ disciples.
[9] One has great wealth.
[10] One is reborn in the heavens.
[11] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

64a

Here we can praise the Fortunate One who crossed the Gaṅga as a result of giving a parasol to the stūpa of an Independent Buddha. The story of the Buddha’s crossing the Gaṅgā on his last journey is told in the Mahā-parinibbāna-sutta, DN 16. The giving of the parasol is remembered in the Mūla-sarvāstivāda-vinaya, Oṣadhivastu.

64b

Just as the noble Sundarananda explained:

“Through a steam bath for bathing, and a covering of golden orpiment,
and the giving of one parasol, I have attained a golden complexion.”

Thus the result of giving a parasol and so on should be spoken of. And he said:

“He who has a large parasol carried over him, that has beautiful handles, superior form,
with a sheath and fringes decorated with wreaths and bows,
that is stainless like the light of the circle of the moon –
that is occasioned by the gift of a parasol to the lord of the world.

A sign of glory, having a bejewelled and golden handle,
a large umbrella that has a fiery golden cloth,
that is carried above the head of the prince –
that is occasioned by the gift of a parasol to the lord of the world.”

These are the ten advantages of giving a parasol.

65. Giving a Temple Bell

What are the ten advantages of giving a temple bell?

It is said:

[1] One becomes handsome.
[2] One has a good voice.
[3] One has pleasing speech.
[4] One has speech like a cuckoo.
[5] One has acceptable speech.
[6] One always has causes for joy.
[7] Again and again one hears sounds that are joyous.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One has great wealth.
[10] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

65a

Just as when Viśākha, Mgāra’s mother, asked the Fortunate One: “How can I make a musical instrument having the five qualities sound in my palace at all times?”

The Fortunate One said: “Hang a bell that is endowed with all five sounds, in this way you can make a musical instrument having the five qualities sound in your palace at all times, and it will be faultless.”

These are the ten virtues of giving a temple bell.

66. Giving Clothes

What are the ten virtues of giving clothes.

It is said:

[1] One has soft skin.
[2] One has smooth skin.
[3] Dust does not stick to the cloth or his body.
[4] One is endowed with conscience and shame.
[5] One is pleasant looking.
[6] One has abundant clothing.
[7] One receives clothes and spreadings that are delicate.
[8] One has great wealth.
[9] One is reborn in the heavens.
[10] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

66a

Just as was said by the Fortunate One in the Discourse about the Gods. Giving clothes one has a beautiful complexion. cf. SN 1.42, Kiṁ-dada-sutta: From a gift of clothes there is a gift of beauty.

These are the ten virtuous advantages of giving clothes.

67. Giving Seats

What are the ten advantages of giving seats?

It is said:

[1] One stands firmly in the world.
[2] One is pleasant looking.
[3] One is amiable.
[4] One is visited by wise people.
[5] One’s fame and renown increase in the world.
[6] One has much happiness and satisfaction.
[7] One delights in his own country.
[8] One has a sufficiency of seats.
[9] One has a sufficiency of servants.
[10] One has great wealth.
[11] One is reborn in the heavens.
[12] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

These are the ten virtues of giving seats.

68. Giving Vessels

What are the ten advantages of giving vessels?

It is said:

[1] One becomes a vessel for the Dharma.
[2] One’s virtues are smooth and uninterrupted.
[3] One does not have great thirst.
[4] When suffering from thirst, water appears.
[5] One is not reborn amongst the pretas.
[6] One has a sufficiency of containers.
[7] One has great wealth.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

These are the ten advantages of giving containers.

69. Giving Food

What are the ten advantages of giving food?

It is said:

[1] One becomes strong. cf. SN 1.42, Kiṁ-dada-sutta: From a gift of food there is a gift of strength.
[2] One becomes beautiful.
[3] One becomes happy.
[4] One becomes intelligent.
[5] One has long life.
[6] One is visited by the populace.
[7] One is pleasant looking.
[8] One has great wealth.
[9] One is reborn in the heavens.
[10] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

69a

Just as the Fortunate One said to prince Siṁha in Vaiśālī: cf. AN 5.34, Sīha-senāpati-sutta, where the protagonist is identified as general Sīha. A supporter, Sīha, a gift-master, is dear and pleasing to many folk … for a supporter, a gift-master, there is association with good people, for a supporter, a gift-master, a beautiful sound of renown arises, a supporter, a gift-master, approaches an assembly … confidently, approaches without being downcast … a supporter, a gift-master, when the body breaks up, at the time of death, is reborn in a happy destination, in the heavenly world. “Through giving, Siṁha, there is endearment, there is association with good people, there is a beautiful reputation, one enters the assembly confidently, at death one is reborn amongst the gods.”

Also he spoke this verse:

“There they rejoice, delight and are gladdened,
endowed with the five strands of pleasure,
having carried out the command of the one of boundless virtue,
the disciples of the noble Happy One are gladdened.”

“This is the fruit of giving,” said the Fortunate One, “one is reborn in the heavens and quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.”

And he said:

“Various excellent tastes and seasonings,
at the right time lovely fragrant tastes arise,
giving a bowl, after considering the gift,
after reflecting on the virtues of the truly noble Sangha,
long life, beauty, fame and strength
are attained, wealth and happiness are received,
in heaven and here on earth he has renown and the utmost fame,
he goes from happiness to happiness, and has release at the end.”

These are the ten virtues of giving food.

70. Giving Vehicles

What are the ten virtues of giving vehicles?

It is said:

[1] One has tender feet.
[2] One stands firm on his feet.
[3] One doesn’t get exhausted on the road.
[4] One doesn’t have many enemies.
[5] Again and again one attains the bases of success.
[6] One has a sufficiency of vehicles, elephants and horses and so on.
[7] One has great wealth.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

70a

Just as it was said in the Discourse about the Gods: Giving a vehicle one has happiness, cf. SN 1.42, Kiṁ-dada-sutta: From a gift of vehicles there is a gift of happiness. whoever gives sandals.

70b

Just as it is said in the discourse about the Universal Monarch in the Abhidharma: “What is the deed the result of which is to be a king, a universal monarch, and receive elephants, horses and so on as vehicles? For a long time a king, a universal monarch, carried his mother and father or preceptor on his shoulders, or had them transported on a vehicle, by elephant, horse and so on, or by a palanquin. At a place difficult to cross he makes a bridge, or he gives gifts of sandals. Out of kindness he helps a caravan cross over a great forest. For this deed the result is he is a king, a universal monarch, and receives elephants, horses and so on. Mounted on these he roams around the earth to the seas at its edge in just a quarter of a day.”

These are the ten virtues of giving vehicles.

71. Giving Refuge

What are the ten virtues of giving refuge?

It is said:

[1] One becomes king of the district.
[2] One becomes king of the province.
[3] One becomes king and lord of Jambudvīpa.
[4] One becomes king and lord of two continents.
[5] One becomes king and lord of three continents.
[6] One becomes king, lord and universal monarch of four continents.
[7] One has great wealth.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

71a

Just as with the verses of the nun Sumedhā: cf. Thī 520, Sumedhā: In the Fortunate Koṇāgamaṇa’s time a dwelling for the Saṅgha, a new building, a gift of a monastery was given by three friends.

“Under the Fortunate Konāgamuna a residence for the Sangha,
was given by we three friends – formerly we gave a monastery.”

These are the verses of Sumedhā. The nun Dharmadinnā and Viśākhā, Mgāras mother, In Pāḷi the friends are identified with Dhanañjānī and Khemā, in the Pāḷi commentary to the Therīgāthā they are said to have given a great park to the Buddha. The results though are similar. were formerly poor women, they erected four sticks, with a straw thatch over them, and after giving it, they invited the Fortunate Konāgamuna to stay there. He rested there for a moment with his monks. Their minds were full of faith. Through this deed they were reborn amongst the gods one hundred thousand times. Countless times they reigned as universal monarchs.

The meaning of each of the verses of Sumedhā are to be understood like this in detail.

These are the ten virtues of giving refuge.

72. Giving Drinks

What are the ten virtues of giving drinks?

It is said:

[1] One is endowed with all the faculties.
[2] Has a clear face.
[3] A pure forehead.
[4] Smooth skin.
[5] One has agreeable speech.
[6] One is never greatly thirsty.
[7] When one is thirsty water appears.
[8] One is not reborn amongst the pretas.
[9] One has great wealth.
[10] One is reborn in the heavens.
[11] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

72a

Just as it was said: No parallel to these verses are known.

“Pleasant in colour, together with taste and smell,
promoting joy in all the faculties,
timeless, commended by good people,
this is the result for whoever gives drinks to the Sangha.

Immediately free from thirst, without grief,
experiencing the four main flavours,
satisfying the world with the taste of the True Dharma,
with thirst destroyed he goes from happiness to happiness.”

These are the ten virtues of giving drinks.

73. Giving Garlands

What are the ten virtues of giving garlands?

It is said:

[1] One becomes like a garland to the world.
[2] Bad odour of the body disappears.
[3] Good odour appears.
[4] There is always a pleasant smell and ornaments.
[5] One’s following is undivided.
[6] One is dear to all people.
[7] One has great wealth.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

73a

And it is said:

“Beautiful and excellent garlands which smell sweet,
that uplift people and makes them joyous,
whoever, with confident mind, gives
to the relic casket of a silent one, and a Realised One,
his limbs shine with divine ornamental garlands,
he attains glory and happiness here and in heaven,
he worships with the wreath of the factors of awakening,
he goes to the higher release, smelling of higher virtue.”

73b

So it was with the daughter of a certain poor householder. Her story seems to be only recorded here. As she stood at the door she saw all the ornaments and decorations of the people enjoying the festival. She said to her father: “It would be suitable for me too!”

Her father said: “Where are the ornaments for poor folk? These people have made uncountable merit by doing their duty to the Buddha, the Fortunate One.”

And he spoke extensively about the deed of the elder Karṇesumana in the tradition. Mentioned also in 74 below where it is explained he gave a flower at a stūpa and received a great reward. Thus even a little deed done with faith in the Fortunate One has great fruit.

Her father, exceedingly disturbed, made an offer: “I will give something of mine there at the monastery of the Fortunate One.”

Being short of riches, with much difficulty, having made a garland out of straw he gave that to her. Taking the garland made of straw she placed it on the head of the Buddha statue, and worshipping at its feet, she said: “Fortunate One, by this wholesome root while running on through saṁsāra may I never be poor again!”

Confidence arose in her and that very day she surpassed the state of a human woman and appeared in a divine form. The lord of the country established her as chief queen. Later she died and was reborn amongst the gods.

In her last existence she was reborn as the daughter of the foremost family in Campā. She had a supremely beautiful complexion, and a garland adorned with all jewels suddenly manifested itself on her head. Wonder arose for her mother and father and they gave her the name Mālinī. Meaning: Garlanded, or Crowned.

After the Fortunate One had awakened he arrived at Campā from Rājagha. Approaching the Fortunate One she was given a Dharma teaching, ordained and became an Arhatī. She said: “With the arising of that awakening thought there will no longer be a garland for me again,” and it disappeared.

Having seen this, a god, wondering, recited a verse, and spoke like this:

“Having given a garland made of straw at the Happy One’s stūpa, this Mālinī
received the garland of noble gold and jewels and the garland of the factors of awakening.”

These are the ten virtues of giving garlands.

74. Giving Loose Flowers

What are the ten virtues of giving loose flowers?

It is said:

[1] One becomes like a flower to the world.
[2] The faculty of smell is purified.
[3] Bad odour of the body disappears.
[4] Good odour appears.
[5] The sweet fame of one’s virtue blows in all ten directions.
[6] One is sought out by others.
[7] One receives all desirable things.
[8] One has great wealth.
[9] One is reborn in the heavens.
[10] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

74a

Here we should speak of the arising of faith in the previous life of Karṇesumana, and the result of giving just one single flower. Just as he said:

“Through the giving of a single flower for eight billion aeons
I have not known a bad destination, that is the fruit of worshipping the Buddha!”

These are the ten virtues of giving loose flowers.

75. Giving Lights

What are the ten virtues of giving lights?

It is said:

[1] One becomes like a light to the world.
[2] The worldly eye perishes, and the divine eye appears. cf. SN 1.42, Kiṁ-dada-sutta: From a gift of a light there is a gift of vision, a somewhat different answer to that given here.
[3] The blindness of ignorance is destroyed.
[4] The light of knowledge arises.
[5] One quickly understands with wisdom what things are wholesome and unwholesome.
[6] There is no blind ignorance regarding the running on of saṁsāra.
[7] One has great wealth.
[8] One is reborn in the heavens.
[9] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

75a

Just as was said in the Analysis of the Discourse about the Universal Monarch in the Abhidharma. The discourse was mentioned above at 32i and 70b above, but this is the first time we hear of its Vibhaṅga. It is mentioned again in 76a below. What is the deed the result of which is that the king, the universal monarch, receives the jewel-treasure? For a long time gifts of lamps and gifts of oil-lamps were given by the king, the universal monarch. Bejewelled lamps were carried in the dark so that those who had eyes could see smooth and rough forms. And he said:

“He receives the eye commended by the Buddha,
that eye for him is the supreme cause,
here forms shine forth in the world,
through the gift of a lamp to the Buddha, the World Upholder.

Supreme in splendour, impossible to behold,
very satisfied, the one who sees lovely deeds,
attains happiness in heaven and also here,
the purified eye, on the other side of peace.”

75b

Here should be spoken of the noble Aniruddha who had the divine eye through giving the lamps; DPPN says: In Padumuttara Buddha’s time he [Anuruddha] had been a rich householder. Hearing one of the monks declared best among possessors of the celestial eye, he wished for a similar honour for himself in the future. He did acts of great merit towards that end, including the holding of a great feast of light in front of the Buddha’s tomb. In Kassapa Buddha’s age he was born in Bārāṇasī, one day he placed bowls filled with clarified butter all round the Buddha’s tomb and lighted them, himself walking round the tomb all night, bearing on his head a lighted bowl. and of the seers who had their eyes torn out on the way to release. It is not clear who this refers to.

75c

Just as with Dīpaṅkara, who with a gift of an array of lamps, attained Buddhahood. The Pāḷi tradition does not seem to record this story.

75d

And in Śrāvastī an array of lamps was made by a man who had lost his eyes. I do not know this tradition. Faith arose, and he made his aspiration to be a Buddha. Upon arising his eyes became as they had been previously.

These are the ten virtues of giving lights.

76. Giving Incense

What are the ten virtues of giving incense?

It is said:

[1] One becomes like incense to the world.
[2] One’s faculty of smell is purified.
[3] Bad odour of the body disappears.
[4] Good odour appears.
[5] The sweet fame of one’s virtue blows in all ten directions.
[6] One is sought out by others.
[7] One receives all desirable things.
[8] One has great wealth.
[9] One is reborn in the heavens.
[10] One quickly attains final Nirvāṇa.

76a

Just as was said in the discourse about the Universal Monarch in the Abhidharma: Mentioned above at 32i, 70b, 75a above. “What is the deed the result of which is that the king, the universal monarch, experiences a perfume rising from the hair of the woman-jewel just like from a perfume box? For a long time the woman gave scented coatings for the relic houses, and also gave fragrant flowers and incense, and had the stūpas washed with fragrant waters. This was the deed the result of which was that the king, the universal monarch, experiences a perfume rising in this way from the body of the woman-jewel, just like from a perfume casket.”

These are the ten virtues of giving incense.

77. Going Forth

What are the ten virtues of going forth?

It is said:

[1] One doesn’t crave for sons, wives, daughters and wealth.
[2] One is not possessed by sensual pleasures.
[3] One receives joy in living in the wilderness.
[4] One associates with the way of the Buddha.
[5] One avoids the way of the fools.
[6] One avoids things which lead to a bad rebirth.
[7] One associates with things that lead to a happy rebirth.
[8] The devas envy him.
[9] One always gains the going forth in the word of the Happy One.

These are the ten virtues of going forth.

78. Living in the Wilderness

What are the ten virtues of living in the wilderness?

It is said:

[1] One avoids society.
[2] One associates with seclusion.
[3] The mind achieves support in concentration.
[4] One doesn’t have a lot of work to be done.
[5] One enters into mindfulness of the Buddhas.
[6] One doesn’t abandon bodily joy, happiness and satisfaction.
[7] One has no obstacles.
[8] One achieves concentration with little effort in the spiritual life.
[9] The words and syllables one recites do not perish.
[10] Just as one has heard, one knows every detail and the meaning of things.

These are the ten virtues of living in the wilderness.

79. Living on Alms Food

What are the ten virtues of living on alms food?

It is said:

[1] One has a walking path.
[2] One pounds his resort.
[3] One’s pride is lowered.
[4] One urges oneself on with gains.
[5] One sets up the merit of others.
[6] One expounds the Teacher’s dispensation.
[7] One makes the way shine forth for later generations.
[8] One does no harm to his fellows in the spiritual life.
[9] One establishes humility in the mind.
[10] The monk who has a mind set on receiving only alms from others is able to go in all directions without adversity.

These are the ten virtues of living on alms food.

80. Ten Confidences

There are ten confidences.

What are the ten?

It is said:

[1] One is confident when entering the village.
[2] One is confident when leaving the village.
[3] One is confident when making use of alms food.
[4] One is confident when teaching Dharma in the assembly.
[5] One is confident when entering into the midst of the Sangha.
[6] One is confident when approaching his teacher and preceptor.
[7] One is confident when teaching his students with loving-kindness.
[8] One is confident when making use of the requisites of robes, alms food, dwellings and medicine for support when sick.
[9] One’s speech is readily accepted.

These are the ten confidences.

The Discourse on the Analysis of Deeds is Complete