Title- Veyyavacca Kusala (Meritorious Deed of Service) & Related Story

“Veyyavacca” means helping others in performing good deeds. Attending on those who are worthy of respect in a small way or in a big way, helping one’s friends in their affairs, offering one’s seat and helping persons worthy of respect while one is travelling, helping the sick and the aged, cleaning monasteries, houses, localities, pagodas and Bodhi Trees, repairing roads for the welfare of passers-by, building bridges, placing water-pots on stands for everyone to drink, and building rest-houses, etc., are called “Veyyavacca”.

Helping or giving service in the good deeds of other people is known as “Veyyavacca”. We should offer our services willingly so that the donors may feel at ease, free from worries and the charity be successfully accomplished. We should also help the sick, the infirm and the old. We should offer assistance to people carrying heavy loads, help to remove heavy burdens of our parents and elders, helping in preparing foods for Samghas, sweeping at the pagoda to keep the floor clean for the sake of public, etc. Thus, all forms of voluntary service given to others (provided the deeds are not evil) are listed as “Veyyavacca-kusala”. So, there is no need to feel sorry because of incapable to donate things; for those who are too poor to donate material requisites to Triple Gems or anyone else.

If you have goodwill and true cetana in giving voluntary service, benefits may be greater than those of the actual donor who donates lack of or weak in volition. For instance, in Buddha’s time there was a governor named Payasi, who was a heretic but became a believer of the Dhamma due to the teaching of the Venerable Kumara Kassapa Bhikkhu. This Payasi performed charity and alms-giving regularly. But he did not do the good deed himself. Instead he delegated Uttara, a young lad to offer alms-food to Bhikkhus. Although Uttara was acting on behalf of the governor, he put all his heart and soul in the alms-giving. When both the governor and the servant died, the former (the governor) was reborn in Catumaharajika, the lowest of the six celestial abodes while the latter (the servant) was reborn in Tavatimsa, which is higher than Catumaharajika. That’s why it’s of vital importance to make sure or keep your volition keen and pure before,during and after donation. Moreover, It’s the best to donate ourselves with our own hands if we are not too old or weak or feeling strong diseases.

___ 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.

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Related Article:

Title- Ten Bases of Meritorious Actions (Ten Punnakiriya-vatthus)


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