Kala means ‘time’ and Dana means ‘giving’ i.e. Timely Giving. The Buddha said that there are five types of giving which are timely in Kala-dana Sutta. These are-
(1) Offering requisites to guest-bhikkhus (Dana to a newcomer)
(2) Offering requisites to travellers (Dana to a person who is leaving )
(3) Offering requisites to the sick (Dana to a sick person)
(4) Offering performed at the time of starvation (Dana in a situation of famine)
(5) Offering the first crops and fruits obtained through one’s labour to the bhikkhus of high morality (Offering the first produce of a field or orchard to the virtuous )
Those with discernment, responsive and free from stinginess give at the proper time. Having given at the proper time, with hearts inspired by the Noble Ones, their offering bears abundant fruition. So timing is an important factor in the effectiveness of the giving.
Merit is what establishes living beings in the next life. If we have a good storehouse of merits, we are of course better assured of a good rebirth and a good life ahead. So, the devotees should take the advice of this sutta and give at the right time.
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Title- Sappurisa-dana & Related Stories