The Perfection of Generosity - The Bodhisatta’s giving III

Sometimes when a person regrets it to give something away, he should consider what he really wants: does he want to keep that object or does he want to realize the four noble Truths? Reflection in this way could be a condition for the arising of generosity and at that moment a shackle to generosity is destroyed.

We read:

“When the Great Being is giving a gift,

and he sees the loss of the object being given,

he reflects thus: ‘This is the nature of material possessions,

that they are subject to loss and to passing away.

Moreover, it is because I did not give such gifts in the past

that my possessions are now depleted.

Let me then give whatever I have as a gift,

whether it be limited or abundant.

Ithat way I will, in the future, reach the peak in the perfection of giving.’

Thus he gives whatever he has as a gift;

generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishing,

one who gives when asked, delighting in giving and sharing.

In this way the Great Being destroys, shatters,

and eradicates the fourth shackle to giving.”


Some people believe that when they give things away their possessions will

vanish, but in reality, it is already in the nature of possessions to vanish. No

matter whether we give or do not give, when it is the right time for our possessions

to vanish, they will disappear. Some people who have many possessions fear that

if they do not share them out they will vanish, and therefore, they believe that they

should rather give them away. When calamities are caused by fire, inundation or

robbers, or when possessions are confiscated by kings, one may regret it that one

did not give things away. We can see that possessions do not vanish because of

giving, but that it depends on kamma whether one has possessions or whether

one loses them. 


Topic 277