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Dāna: 'foodgiving', Generosity, offering.; He who gives food, bestows a fourfold blessing: he helps to long life, good appearance, happiness and strength. Therefore long life, good appearance, happiness and strength will be his share, whether amongst divine beings or amongst men; A. IV, 57.

Five blessings accrue to the giver of food
the affection of many, noble association, good reputation, self-confidence, and divine rebirth; see A. V, 34. Seven further blessings are given in A. VII, 54.

Generosity, especially the offering of robes, food, etc., to the Bhikkhus, is highly praised in all Buddhist countries of Southern Asia as a fundamental virtue and as a means to suppress man's inborn greed and egoism. But, as in any other good or bad action, so also in offering gifts, it is the noble intention and intention that really counts as the action, not the mere outward deed.

Foodgiving or generosity dāna constitutes the first. kind of meritorious activity, the two others being morality sīla and mental development bhāvanā see: puñña-kiriya-vatthu generosity cāga forms one of the 10 recollections anussati and foodgiving one of the ten paramitas.

References

Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.

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