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The Gospel of Buddha:Chapter 68: Four Kinds of Merit

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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There was a rich man who used to invite
all the Brahmans of the neighbourhood to his house,
and, giving them rich gifts, offered great sacrifices to the gods. [1]

And the Blessed One said:
"If a man each month repeat a thousand sacrifices
and give offerings without ceasing,
he is not equal to him who but one moment
fixes his mind upon righteousness." [2]

The world-honoured Buddha continued:
"There are four kinds of offering:
first, when the gifts are large and the merit small;
secondly, when the gifts are small and the merit small;
thirdly, when the gifts are small and the merit large;
and fourthly, when the gifts are large and the merit is also large. [3]

"The first is the cause of the deluded man
who takes away life for the purpose of sacrificing to the gods,
accompanied by carousing and feasting.
Here the gifts are great, but the merit is small indeed. [4]

"The gifts are small and the merit is also small,
when from covetousness and an evil heart a man keeps to himself
a part of that which he indends to offer. [5]

"The merit is great, however, while the gift is small,
when a man makes his offering from love
and with a desire to grow in wisdom and in kindness. [6]

"Lastly, the gift is large and the merit is large, when a wealthy man,
in an unselfish spirit and with the wisdom of a Buddha,
gives donations and founds institutions for the best of mankind
to enlighten the minds of his fellow-men and to administer unto their needs." [7]

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Source

mountainman.com.au