Title- Sappurisa-dana & Related Stories

The charity performed by the virtuous is called Sappurisa-dana. There are five kinds of Sappurisa-dana, namely:

(1) Saddhadana,
(2) Sakkaccadana,
(3) Kaladana,
(4) Anuggahitadana, and
(5) Anupahaccadana.

(1) Saddhadana

The charity based on the belief in Kamma and Its Results is called Saddhadana.
The person who dispenses this kind of charity will possess great wealth and very beautiful complexion in whatever existence his charity ripens to produce benefits.

(2) Sakkaccadana

Sakkaccadana means donating the well-prepared offerings to the donees with much respect and reverence.
In whatever existence his charity ripens to produce benefits the person who dispenses that kind of charity will be wealthy, with his children, wife, slaves and employees who are obedient to him.
If one donates the offerings without proper respect, he will have no influence on his children, wife and slaves, in spite of being wealthy in his future existences.

(3) Kaladana

The charity dispensed at an appropriate time is called Kaladana.
In whatever existences his charity ripens to produce benefits, the person who dispenses that kind of charity will be very wealthy. He will have everything which he desires whenever necessary.
A person who does not dispense charity at an appropriate time will not gain what he desires when he needs, although he is wealthy.

(4) Anuggahitadana

The charity dispensed with the mind not attached to the offerings is called Anuggahitadana.
In whatever existence his charity ripens to produce benefits the person who dispenses that kind of charity will be very wealthy.
He is inclined to enjoy worldly pleasures.
If a person dispenses charity with no intention to honour the done, he is not inclined to enjoy his valuable properties.

(5) Anupahaccadana

The charity that does not harm the donor himself nor anyone else is called Anupahaccadana.
In whatever existence his charity ripens to produce benefits, the person who dispenses that kind of charity will be wealthy and will possess valuable property.
His wealth and possession will be unaffected by five kinds of danger, namely: floods, conflagration, tyrants, thieves and naughty heirs.
If a person dispenses charity which is detrimental to himself or to others, his properties will be destroyed by the five kinds of danger although he is wealthy.

The Story Showing the Benefits of Sappurisa-dana

___The Story of Nandiya, the Lay Disciple___

In Baranasi, there was a generous couple. Both of them took refuge in the Three Gems and they were endowed with conviction. They had only one son named Nandiya. He was also a generous one and used to donate offerings to bhikkhus out of conviction. When his parents passed away, he became a man of great generosity. He always placed cooked-rice-pots in front of his house not only for bhikkhus but also for beggars and travellers.


Later, he built a quadruple hall in the great monastery at Isipatana. Each room was furnished with great splendour.


After the construction, he donated it to the Buddha and the Samgha. As soon as the donation water fell on the Buddha’s hands, there arose a great celestial mansion in the Tavatimsa celestial realm for Nandiya’s use.


During one of the Venerable Maha Moggallana’s visit to Tavatimsa, he saw a new mansion which he had never seen before. So he asked the celestial beings whose mansion it was. They replied that it belonged to Nandiya, the lay devotee. When the deities saw the Venerable Maha Moggallana, they descended from the mansion and said, “We are the attendants of Nandiya. We feel very lonely because our master has not come yet. Please urge him to come here as soon as possible.”


When the Venerable Maha Moggallana arrived back at the human world, he went to the Buddha and asked Him thus: “Venerable Sir, for those who perform meritorious deeds do they have mansions and other riches prepared in the deva world even while they are still living in this world?” The Buddha replied thus:”Moggallana, why do you ask so? Have you not yourself seen the mansion and the riches waiting for Nandiya in the Tavatimsa deva world?”


Nandiya made offerings out of belief in Kamma and Its Results. He offered alms-food respectfully to the bhikkhus who went round for collecting alms-food to his house daily. He donated the necessary material requisites to the Bhikkhus occasionally. He also dispensed charity devoid of clinging and attachment to the offerings. When he made donations, he did not harm himself nor anyone else. He had the great monastery built at Isipatana and had in furnished well. Then he donated that monastery dedicated to the Buddha and the Order of bhikkhus. He donated things in accordance with the five attributes of Sappurisadana. Owing to his meritorious deeds, the great celestial mansion and the celestial wealth appeared in advance in the Tavatimsa celestial realm even before he died.


Related Article: The Stories Illustrating the Benefits of Charity


___The Story of Uttara and the Governor of Payasi___


Once, the governor of Payasi made an alms-giving ceremony. In this ceremony, he let the youth Uttara manage the donation on his behalf. Although Uttara had to perform on behalf of the Governor of Payasi, he managed the ceremony to the best of his ability as if it were his own donation. When they died, the governor of Payasi was reborn as a deva in the celestial realm of Catumaharajika, whereas the youth Uttara was reborn as a deva in the Tavatimsa celestial realm.


One day, an arahat named Gavampati went to the celestial realm. First, he went to Serisaka celestial building, situated in Catumaharajika celestial realm. In this building he saw the deva who was once the governor of Parasi. This deva said, “Venerable Sir, in my previous life I was the governor of Payasi. When making my donation, I did not make the offerings with due respect; I did not make my offerings personally with my own hands; I gave my offerings as if throwing them away. As a result, I was reborn in this inferior Catumaharajika celestial realm living alone with no retinue. But the youth Uttara made the offerings on my behalf respectfully, personally and wonderfully to awe others. As a result, he was reborn in Tavatimsa realm which is more splendid than my celestial abode. Venerable Sir, when you return to the human world, please preach and admonish the people to make their offerings respectfully and personally with their own hands, and not to give their offerings carelessly as if they were thrown away”.


When the arahat Gavampati returned to the human world, he preached and admonished the people just as the deva had requested him. The people followed his advice and many were reborn in Tavatimsa realm on their death.


___The Story of Bakula, the Donor of Medicines___

The ascetic Bakula-to-be was one who attained supernormal powers at time of Buddha Anomadassi. One day, the Buddha Anomadssi suffered from flatulence. On hearing this matter, the ascetic gathered in Himavamta medical plants such as tubers, bulbs and roots, which could cure the Buddha’s stomatch trouble. He prepared a kind of medicine from the herbs and offered it to the Buddha. The Buddha Anomadassi was immediately relieved from stomatch trouble after taking the medicine. The ascetic approached the Buddha and made a wish thus: “As a result of offering medicine to the Buddha Anomadassi, may I be free from all diseases in all my future existences, and may not my body contract an ailment even for a moment”.


As the result of offering medicine to the Buddha, he was reborn repeatedly only in the human world or celestial realm. Finally he was reborn in the human world as the youth named Bakula. After enjoying worldly pleasures for eighty years, he was ordained as a bhikkhu in Gotama Buddha’s Sasana. He practised the Ariya Path of Eight Constituents and, not long afterward, he became an arahat, the perfect one. As he was completely free from any disease, he was conferred the title of Etadagga-the best and incomparable one in enjoying good health. He lived without any ailment till the age of one hundred and sixty years; he then realized Parinibbana, the final death with the realization of Nibbana. Because his wish to be free from all diseases was fulfilled, he was designated as “the one who is free from any disease or ailment”.


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