23/08/2014

Perfection of Generosity

The advise on perfection of generosity are published below not because that I’ve mastered all the words of Buddha, but it’s only the flat form I used to wind back those teaching on six virtues of life from booklet called ‘Thirty Seven Bodhisattva Practice’  taught by Dasho Namgay Wangchuk (Ex Member of Parliament, Punakha) during high school times. This work of mine is sincere dedication for his selfless service.

Generosity is the nobility of being willing to dedicate our body, worldly goods and merits with pure motivation of genuine concern for the benefit of sentient beings. One ought to keep away from erroneous notion that generosity has no outcome, for it is the basis of gaining merits and this shall serve the best reason or necessity of being generous. There are three nature of generosity that we may offer to the sentient beings based on the grounds of their necessity, i.e. possessions giving to those who are suffering from starvation, frostiness, etc, giving of dharma (highest order of giving) to those who are wrapped by the dust of ignorance, and lastly fearlessness giving to folks who live in displeasure, terror and misery by heartening them to rise above any difficulties encountered.

However, there should be perfection in generosity which is not accomplished simply by giving things or by the value of gift donated. For the purpose, the giver should not have expectations of worldly rewards like reputation, recognition, gratitude, advantages, or taking rebirth in moneyed family, etc.  With neutral compassion for both alien and foe, one should consider the subject to whom we are being generous as a tutor who is assisting to complete the perfection of generosity.

When the birth to the art of giving is barred by our attachment to worldly materials, then we should learn by heart that the article and its proprietor shall be separated when departing from this globe, and accordingly his misery shall persist in next generation due to demerits so developed by the poison of greed. So while practicing bigheartedness, the giver should assume that he or she is returning the assets to its legal owner who in the times of yore had given it for safeguarding and by such mind-set one shall have calm and peaceful mind while giving it, and shall not regret the action afterwards. These words do not try to paint fortress in heavens, it is however thorny when put into practice but not at all impossible, or otherwise in the ancient time our forefathers may not have seen flying Yogis who lived with such generous act.

For perfection of generosity, we should emphasize on four actions of dedicating, protecting, purifying and increasing; dedicate our body to all the sentient beings with truly generous motivation of the awakened heart of compassion, wisdom and love. Having dedicated our body, we should protect it from being worn out in worthless deeds. We should also make generosity of the body a pure practice by concentrating on the subject, object and action. Then the merits gained from generosity has to be dedicated to all sentient beings, increasing in numbers equal to the sands of Ganges River. 

During the process of underlining some tips of perfecting generosity, I've touched about one of the other noteworthy virtues of life i.e. the ethics required for being generous, and it is obvious that other four virtues like patience, dauntlessness (energy), concentration and wisdom are also inseparable while practicing generosity; during the practice we must have patience and do not get heated with the treacherous act of betraying by the object of generosity, or else anger is one of the three fatal poisons in life that tear down our merits. It must be made with unbroken vigor or if not our virtues habit of giving may fade away. The giver should contemplate on payback of being openhanded and the fallout if does not practice it, otherwise our monkey wits may get sidetracked by fake worldly pleasures. While being charitable, one should also ensure that the practice is pure without any shady action, thought and tongue.

Gyalse Tokme Zangpo (1297-1371), Author of 37 Practices of Bodhisattva

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