(From a talk given by S.N. Goenka on January 15, 1976, on the occasion of the founding of Dhamma Thali, Jaipur, Rajasthan.)
The taste of Dhamma surpasses all other tastes.
Other tastes do not quench craving, they increase it.
Only the taste of Dhamma puts an end to all craving.
It quenches it. Hence it is the best.
The gift of Dhamma surpasses all other dana.
Giving dana towards a person’s worldly needs, although beneficial, gives a temporary benefita limited benefit.
But the gift of Dhamma gives enormous benefit, boundless benefit. By this dana, from whatever misery one becomes freed, this freedom is forever. From whatever bondage one becomes freed, this freedom is forever. Hence the dana of Dhamma is greater than any other dana.
The dana of Dhamma excels all other dana;
the flavour of Dhamma excels all other flavours.
The delight in Dhamma surpasses all delights; The destruction of craving overcomes all suffering.
-Dhammapada, XXIV, (354).
The dana of Dhamma is given by teaching the Dhamma.
As well, any contribution we make in any manner towards spreading the teaching of the Dhamma is dhammadana.
Therefore whatever contribution one makes towards having a meditation center built, for organizing and maintaining it, serving courses or providing other requirements is all dhammadana, the dana that is superior to all other dana.
If we give food, the benefit is that the hunger of the recipient is appeased. And in return, the law of nature, or Dhamma, will automatically help appease our hunger when we are hungry.
This is a benefit.
🌷 Similarly, whatever other worldly dana we give, the resultant fruits will be of similar nature.
They will give worldly benefit.
When we help a person to come out of craving, aversion and ignorance, the resultant fruit is not ordinary because the dana is not ordinary.
The dana of Dhamma is supramundane.
Its resultant fruits are also supramundane.
It is a dana that will assist us in coming out of all worldly bondage.
When we contribute towards this great cause, the kind of help we give is not significant.
What is important is the volition with which we give. We should give with a Dhamma volition, thinking, I have this facility, this capacity, this resource. I shall contribute so much of it for the well-being of people.
May there be true well-being. Whatever well-being may be achieved by various other kinds of dana, in comparison, the well-being achieved by this dana is boundless. There cannot be a better way to use my capacity, my resources, my wealth.
When we give dana with this Dhamma volition, we pave the path of our own progress.
Whatever obstacles we face in our meditation, our practice, are the result of our own past kamma.
Because we helped another person to become liberated, the resultant fruit will help us to overcome the obstacles we face.
All the hindrances to our liberation will be removed.
🌷 What greater delight could this land have than if even one person gets liberated sitting in a cell or cave on this land, if even one person realizes nibbana meditating on this land? What greater rapture could this land experience? What greater welfare could this land aspire to?
This land shall be venerated.
When construction work takes place, it will cause hardship to the visible and invisible beings here.
This will happen. But the work has begun with wholesome volition, with dhamma-dhatu.
The land has been venerated, all its inhabitants have been venerated; they will be happy.
Something constructive, beneficial and good will take place here.
The people who work here should generate good will towards all the visible and invisible beings whenever they work.
May no being knowingly be killed.
We should not knowingly cause hardship to any being.
The good of all, the welfare of all should be the volition.
And if unknowingly some hardship is caused, then may those who suffer share our merits, our good deeds, the Dhamma accumulated by us.
May they also be happy.
Make sure all work is done with such feelings of good will.
Work shall be done with a pure mind.
The land is pure, the meditators who work are pure, their minds are pure.
The wealth that flows in is pure.
The results will be pure, they are bound to be pure.
[3/16/21, 10:54:33 AM] +1 (937) 554‑6048: Dhammadana
(Vipassana International Newsletter. Nov’03)