Chapter 29. The Equation of Generosity or Dana
According to the Buddhist teachings, Dhana or generosity is the primary virtue that allows one to earn merit energy from self-cultivation. This virtue is universal for all and not limited to Buddhists only. In any giving, we consider the four major factors namely (1) the giver (2) the receiver (3) the given object and (4) the intention, whereas the whole process of giving yields merit energy in three phases which are before, during, and after completion of giving.
As such, we can derive an equation as follows:
Merit Energy Earned = [Before + During + After] x [Giver (Purity)] x [Receiver (Purity + Number)] x [Given Object (Purity + Quantity + Quality)] x [Intention(Purity + Quality)]
We can clarify the co-factors of the above equation as follows:
A. [Before + During + After]
This means the occurring of merit energy from the meritorious mind in three phases which are before, during, and after giving. Before giving, we plan what we wish to buy, and we make an on-line searching to find a proper birthday present for our friend. The merit occurs during planning because our mind is generous and meritorious. Once the birthday present is ordered, delivered, and received by our friend, the merit occurs again upon the completion of giving. After that, we recollect the event and feel joyful, more or less, and the merit energy occurs more and more.
This means that the more purity and morality of the giver, the more merit can be earned. We can compare the giver to a big water basin without leakage, so the merit can be fully contained.
C. [Receiver (Purity + Number)]
This means that the more purity and morality of the receiver, the more merit can be earned. In addition, the more number of pure and moral receivers, the more merit gained.
D. [Given Object (Purity + Quantity + Quality)]
This means that the given object can allow us to gain more merit if the given object is pure, meaning that it is obtained in the wholesome way as well as causing no harm like intoxicants and weapons. The quantity of the given object means, the more objects given, the more merit earned. Lastly, if the given object is in good quality, the more merit can be earned.
E. [Intention(Purity + Quality)]
This means that the giver’s intention in making donation or giving can lead to more merit earning if the intention is pure as well as qualitative, meaning that the intention is powerful and virtuous.
According to the above equation, we can see roughly how the Karma Program works by taking the inputs in term of our mental, verbal, and physical deeds, and process them to program the karmic fruitions as well as calculating the merit energy we can earn.
By Pirajak T. Suwapatdecha (formerly Pittaya Wong)
First edition on 6 Feb 2020
Second edition on 17 Jun 2020